The First Her

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Part 57

“I’m really sorry,” Layla sobbed.

Lamara was clutching onto her stomach and looking away, while Nebula fidgeted.

Kira kept her back to Layla. She wasn’t angry. Layla was kidnapped and threatened, so Kira understood that she was the victim.

She was just taking a moment to admire the art of the catastrophe. A demented Wo’ton tried to kill Terra when she was in the womb, and then tried to poison her, rape her mother, and assassinate Corzon. He slithered into their hearts just to betray them.

“Why?” she asked particularly no one. “If females are so precious, why would he try to kill Terra and I?”

She knew that the answer was that Wo’ton was insane. She wanted more, though. She felt like the universe owed her more answers after all she went through.

“He wanted to hurt Vrox, so he didn’t care if the price was you. He figured that if Nebula and I were here, then there were probably more women out there.”

Terra made a noise, and Kira looked down instantly. On the baby’s forehead was a tear.

“Did his grandsons know about this?” Kira asked as she wiped the tear away.

“Yes. They were there when they took me from Xulor.”

“Xulor?”

“He is my lover. I met him on another planet…” she sniffled. “It’s a long story.”

Another planet? At that point, Kira wasn’t surprised. Too much shit had happened that day.

“Did they rape you?”

“Wo’ton wanted his grandsons to, but I explained that I was on birth control, which I am. I lied and said that it was permanent. He used this flower to test my fertility and was enraged when he thought I was useless. That’s why he snuck me into the pyramid. To…”

To stab your baby out of your womb.

“I guess that he planned on kidnapping Nebula so his grandsons could rape her, or look through Ezron to find more women.”

“Kidnapping Nebula and killing me was impossible because we were guarded all the time,” Kira connected the dots. “Wo’ton thought he had more time, but then Corzon came into the picture.”

It was the perfect crime, because although he failed in killing her and getting Nebula pregnant by his grandsons, he succeeded at scarring them for life.

The room became gloomy. Vee bounced inside and sniffed her and Terra. Kira pet him, but her mind was a galaxy away.

Vrox arrived much later. He kneeled, not caring who stared, and hugged her as if he hadn’t seen her in a decade. Kira squeezed him back and stared at the small container in his hand.

“Is that the antidote?”

“Yes. I found this herb in Wo’ton’s dwelling.” He showed her a bright blue, hay-like herb. “It is harmless to adults, but poisonous for young ones.”

“Are you sure this is the herb he used?”

“Well, yes.”

Kira passed Terra over to Nebula and took Vrox’s hand.

“Are you sure you do not want to rest?” Vrox asked.

“I’m sure.”

They walked down the stairs. Everything was more organized now. Corzon and his men were forced to retreat to the trees, and a line of Vrox’s men kept them back. The Pyramid was surrounded, too, and arrows were still aimed at the sky, ready to rain.

At the bottom of the staircase was Wo’ton and his three grandsons. Wo’ton was glaring at her, spilling hate while his injury spilled blood.

Kira walked to the grandsons, and Vrox stood so close to her that she could feel his breath at the nape of her neck. There was no way anyone was separating them again.

“Did you help Wo’ton with his plotting?” she asked the men although she already knew the answer.

“He raised us,” the eldest said. “Our loyalty is with him.”

His brothers raised their chin in support.

She had seen enough. Turning around, she faced Wo’ton.

“What herb did you use to poison Terra?”

“You are no queen. The child inside of you is no royal.”

Kira glanced at Vrox’s hand. His sword was too heavy for her to lift.

She fell to her knees in front of Wo’ton.

“High Mother!” some of the men gasped.

Vrox reached for her to pull her off her knees, but she held a hand up.

“Yes, kneel. I am your superior!” Wo’ton ranted.

She swept a hand across the dirt, dusting off a rock that was the size of two of her fists. Then, she stood up.

“What herb did you poison Terra with?” she repeated.

Wo’ton watched with confusion as she held the rock over the head of his youngest grandson.

“You wouldn’t!”

Her gaze was death. “Tell me the herb, you fucking psychopath. If you want to play with my child, then I’ll play with yours.”

“You think I am evil… but look at what you have become.”

She smiled. “I became a mother. I don't know about Ezronian women, but us Terrans kill for our kids.”

Vrox’s hand fell on hers. “I can do this for you.”

She looked at him, and her love grew even more– something she thought was impossible. He was willing to get his hands dirtier to keep hers pristine.

“I will be okay,” she told him.

“What is your plan?” Wo’ton asked. “You will kill my grandsons if I do not tell you what herb I used?”

“I will bash their skulls in if you don’t tell me. If you comply, then their deaths will be swift.”

She never thought she would offer a man the choices of torture and death, but then she became a mother. Terra flooded her with love, but at the same time, killer instinct. She would die for her princess, and she would kill for her, too.

Wo’ton looked at the ground, searching for the answer.

“If you lie, I will make you watch your grandsons get tortured until they can’t scream anymore. Don’t make me do it."

Wo’ton gritted his teeth. “It was bositix,” he answered.

Kira looked at Vrox, who nodded.

“Come,” he tugged her hand. “We will finish questioning later. Terra needs us.”

She dropped the rock, and it landed with a devastating thud.

Seeing that her hands were trembling, Vrox dropped his sword and swept her into his arms. Men parted as he carried her up the stairs. When he reached the top level, he entered the room and sat down with her on his lap.

Nebula handed Terra over, who had begun to fuss with hunger.

Everyone waited outside to give the family privacy.

“Take her blanket off and rub this on her,” Vrox said, holding out the vial.

Kira used a nearby water skin to rinse her hands and then removed Terra’s clothing. After wiping her hands, she offered Terra a breast. As the baby drank, she rubbed the oil on her belly and back.

“You’re going to be all better soon,” Kira promised.

Vrox palmed Kira’s stomach with one hand and stroked Terra’s little leg with the other.

“I love you,” he reminded both females, and kissed Kira’s temple.

She sank into him. Exhausted, but grateful. “I love you too, Commander. Thank you for protecting us.”

“You were the one who stabbed Wo’ton.”

“Actually, Vee saved the day.”

He chuckled and reached down to adjust her breast when Terra released it and struggled latch back on.

“We need to find those girls, Vrox. Not just to save Ezron. Terrans are on their way to extinction. We are all that remains. I couldn’t help but wonder if there are assholes using them as pawns like Wo’ton used me today– humiliating them, raping them, manipulating them. It doesn’t matter if some of them choose to not have children. They deserve to live their last days celebrating liberty. That’s how the last Terrans should go out.”

“I agree.”

She looked at the horizon again. “Our job is no longer to pop out babies and recruiting men for our army. We need to find the last females.”

“With you as Ezron’s queen, there is nothing we cannot do.”

Terra opened her hooded eyes. First, she saw the breast she was suckling on. Then, she saw her parents smiling at each other.

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