Trust Thy Heart

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Chapter 16

Raven's real name is Hestia, and she isn't as bad as she first appeared to be. She teaches me how to digest the associations mashed potatoes without gagging, and she even allows me to be alone sometimes, ever since my speech.

I sit at my usual spot at the table, my hands positioned underneath me. Ever since returning to the association I've felt like I have a purpose. And I love the feeling. It reminds me that I am not alone, and that people here support me, and share the same wishes that I do.

Hestia sits beside me, scooping a tiny bit of mashed potatoes into her mouth, and swallowing it without second thought. I've gotten to know many people over the last couple of days that I've spent here. Of course there's Hestia, and then there's Kendra, and Neil, Hestia's friends she thought would like to meet me. She said I should tell them, and everyone who I am, but I refused. I am no longer that girl, so why focus on the past?

My hands grip my thighs underneath the table, and I notice that I am becoming a bit healthier. My bony body is fattening up a little, and I can see the spark in my eyes slowly returning with each passing day. Hestia's eyes lock on mine as I turn to face her, and I nod, spooning up some more mashed potatoes for myself.

I wonder how the others are doing. Aella, Cassius, and Como I mean. I never let myself think about Brenton anymore. He doesn't deserve my time or energy. I swallow my food, and reach across the table to cool my dry mouth with some iced water. I wish I knew what my friends are doing, and if they are still just barely surviving.

"Everyone, everyone, please focus your attention on the newscast of channel 879." The louspeakers boom all around us, and I jump in my seat at the sudden voice. Everyone around me talks, confused by the instructions, and Neil gets up from his seat across from mine to click on the tiny blank T.V in the corner of the room. I had always thought that the T.V was just a small computer, but of course, I was wrong.

"What is this even about?" I hear someone exclaim from the end of the table, and my mind searches through every possible option for this sudden interference in our day. The T.V clicks on and voices immediately begin to talk urgently together once Kendra changes the channel to where the voice on the loudspeakers told us to. People that were lounging in their dormitories, and even officers, file out of their rooms and stand back beside the large table, to see the news report.

The screen clicks to a scene happening live, right outside the palace of BloomsRidge and I gasp as I see my family and the Queen's and King's of FoxFire, BloomsRidge, and AirDale standing in the huge Center Square of the kingdom of Earth. My father steps forward and clears his throat, standing at a large podium in the middle of the large stage. I look for Brenton within the Royals, but he is no where to be seen.

"It has been clear that there has been much disobedience within the commoners of our kingdoms." My father gestures to each Royal family with his words, "And that is why we are setting up restrictions within each kingdom." My father steps back from the podium, and the King of BloomsRidge takes his place.

"There will be a curfew that if anyone is caught breaking, they will be killed. And if anyone has withheld any information on the Rebels, they will be executed immediately. Thank you for your time." The king says strictly, his words sending a wave of terror down my body.

The T.V clicks off, and everyone stares blankly at where the announcement used to be. Cast on by the live news casts.

"What the hell!?" Kendra shouts, and many others follow her, screaming and throwing their hands up in the air. I just stare in shock, surrounded by memories I never wanted to relive, all the events of the past month swirling together in a big murky puddle of thoughts.

"What are we going to do about this?" Hestia raises from her chair, lifting her head confidentally in the air.

"There is nothing we can do about it." An officer says from the corner, his eyes fixed on me, and I immediately recognize him as the guy who seemed to recognize me the time Como and I first came here together.

"But...we need to be able to take action. We can't just sit around and do nothing." Neil sounds from next to the T.V, and people murmur in agreement all around.

"We will all die if we try and help." The officer says firmly, "But maybe she could do something about it." He gestures straight at me, and everyone falls silent.

"What do you mean?" Someone asks from the center of the table, confusion written all across his face.

"I think I'll let her tell you." The officer glares at me, stepping back to let me explain the truth.

"It's true. I'm not who I said I was, but I am certainly not one of them." I point at the T.V screen, "I am no monster."

"What makes you so important?" Kendra asks, tilting her head to the side, as if that will help her understand.

"My name is not Anna." I begin, "My name is Anahita Aqua Cascade. And I was once a Princess of StormsEye." Once the words have left my mouth, the screaming starts again.

***

"Why do you have to do this?" Hestia asks me, her eyes dripping tears. And I smile at her affectionately. She was like the little sister I had always wanted, and I had. But Aella was not little like Hestia, she's different, and she doesn't even know that we are sisters. I hadn't gotten around to telling her about that. And now I may never be able to.

"It's for the best." I nod, trying to convince myself as well as her. "Besides, if this works out no force will be needed to take down the restrictions."

"Yes, but you could get hurt." Hestia's eyes widen, and her lip quivers reminding me of a baby. I reach over, my hand taking hers.

"I will be alright. They are my family after all." I reassure her, continuing to dress myself in the new bright blue T shirt and jeans that the association gave to me for my first mission.

"It doesn't matter that their family. They've proven themselves to be capable of anything, and they wouldn't hesitate to kill you if need be." She warns me, her eyes flicking over my scars. Ever since the day we'd met, she'd been curious about them.

"Don't worry. I won't give them a reason for that." I wink at her, standing up and moving towards the doors of the dormitory.

"Please. Just be safe." Hestia pulls me into a tight embrace as we walk up the twisting staircase to the entrance of the association together.

"I will. I promise I won't let anything happen to myself." I tell her, leaning into the hug. We reach the door to the world outside all too soon, and I turn to my new friend with a grin.

"See you then." Hestia smiles weakly, releasing my hand, and letting my push open the door to the rest of the world. Unlike the last time I pushed this door open with Como, an alarm does not sound. They know I am leaving.

"See you." I finish, and I leave Hestia standing at the door to the association, starting my way across the world, to return back to where everything started.

I climb down the large mountain, cutting my hands on the jagged edges, and run to where I know the jet will be, letting myself enjoy what may be the last time I am outside breathing in the fresh air. My eyes wander to the mountains, and I can't help but notice the beauty of the sunset ahead streaking the sky in pink and yellow.

Hoisting myself up into the jet, I sit back in my seat and close the door with a thud. I've memorized every control in the jet, and what was once confusing, is now easy to read. I push up on the long lever, and the jet starts into the sky, leaving a trail of clouds following close behind.

In the back of my mind I think about what I am doing. I am putting myself in danger for the association. But not only that, I am also saving innocent commoners from unneeded deaths. And if I can benefit the world even just a little bit, my life will have been worth living.

Aella is in the world somewhere, probably with Cassius and Como. And I wonder what they are planning to do, maybe they are even searching for me. But that is just a fantasy in my mind, just as Brenton was. It is not the truth.

No one is coming for me, and no one will. I am headed straight to my death, or rather the Royals that will decide my fait. And I already know what will become of me.

I am useless in the revolution, no Royal will listen to my pleas. But I am not going down without a fight. So I hope they know that I am not the same girl I was before. No, I am stronger, braver, and most of all...

I have a purpose.


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