VIOLET AND DUPREE
“I have not asked you to do anything I don’t think you are capable of,” The man said, his figure shrouded in the shimmering city night skyline behind him and the chair he sat in. “I have trusted you from the start. Every move in this game was a part of something bigger, something better. Something that I believe we can achieve together.”
The girl he spoke to sat in a turn chair adjacent from him, swinging back and forth as the man spoke. “I know Father. I’m with you. You know that,” she said. Her voice shook with unstable malice, each word with belligerent unchecked madness.
A single light buzzed to life in the shadow of the man’s hand. A floating dimensional image appeared, and for a moment in the darkness the man’s hand and red sleeve were visible. The image turned and glowed blue in a clockwise circle, grafted lines manifesting on every surface with each turn.
“This is the final stand, my dear Violet. From this moment on, our actions dictate our success. The Preradix has told us of our possibilities.” The man lifted himself from his chair and walked to the large windows where the city sparkled and shone like stars beneath them. His once again shadowed hand lifted and felt the thick glass that separated him from open air. “When they arrive this Saturday, the celebration will happen as previously planned. They will line up and I will greet them in a generous manner- as is my duty.”
The girl, Violet, snorted. Her frizzled jet black hair covering her face as she tried to hide the sneering laughter. “You’re too confident. The colonies despise the House of Districts, which you are a part of. From what I’ve heard- and don’t take this the wrong way- but what I’ve heard is that we will have a civil war going on soon.” She continued to spin in the turn chair, stopping with one foot against her father’s desk and then using the other foot to turn again.
“Don’t you see?” He turned toward her abruptly. He pointed to the shimmering image that glowed blue. It automatically dispersed into small particles and for a moment each little bit of light hung in the air before quickly grouping back together and creating a large orbital sphere that took up half of the room, leaving Violet and the man separated between it. “This is our planet, and it is the only planet humanity has left. Thousands of years ago war would have been fought with Interplanetary Cruisers and Crucifix Class Destroyers. But now we find power in politics. Whoever holds the key to political warfare, holds the power to everything.”
The man started to pace beside the soft glow of the luminescent orb, stopped in the middle of it and face directly in front of Violet. “Where is your brother?” the man asked her, changing the subject. “Falo says he has not been to Complex One for quite some time.”
“No clue,” she said absently. She began to pick at her nails. Her fingers were a scabbed and sore mess from constant picking and scratching, product of a nervous habit adopted long ago. “Is it really my problem where Clark goes? Whether he runs off into the Genghis Forest or to the colonies, I think we can both agree that he’s better off somewhere far away from Barence. Maybe if we’re lucky he’s dead.”
“That it may be,” the man breathed. “But he cannot continue to parade around the Western Regions. He must be contained, which is why when Falo comes I will be implementing something I should have put into action long ago.”
The man walked back to his chair and sat in it. A small yellow button on the arm rest light up, and he spoke, “Falo. I need you…And bring Preece before you enter.”
A graveled voice answered back, “Of course Sir. I’ll be there momentarily.” The small yellow button got bright and dimmer with each word before it went dark again after the voice on the other side ended.
Violet looked through the strands of her hair at the silhouette of the man. “Falo is a moron, Father. I will never understand why you keep him around.”
“It is best to keep those who are fools closest to you to make yourself look superior,” he said coldly.
Violet felt his eyes burrow into her, she continued to look through the orb that spun in a slow drawn out circle. “Are you trying to say something dad?”
“You’re reckless Violet.” His voice was grim, but Violet didn’t care. She had heard the same speech over and over again from her father. “I got where I am today by being careful and decisive, not from thievery and backtalk. I thought after all these years you would have learned that I have your best interest at heart. Do you not see that we could rule this city- this world together? You will be my heir if you just do what I say. Think I could trust Clark to do this? The boy is too soft. Just like his mother was.”
For the first time, the girl took interest in what the man was saying. She stopped picking at her fingers, turned and sat up straight in the turn chair. She looked at him through the grafted lines that turned for a moment, and then stood up.
“I will do anything you want me to do, but I won’t be contained to some…some… desk job like one of your assistants.” She walked to the orb and pointed at it, and then pointed it to the side of the large room. The particles dispersed again and settled near a glass coffee table with a mangled dark blue plant that sat inside of a pot on top of it. “All I want to do is be involved Father. Is that too much to ask?”
“To be involved you must be calm,” He hissed from the darkness. “Have I not taught you the ways of political justice? You were just eleven when I took you to the Preradix who gave you with knowledge that most humans can only dream of- knowledge that can’t be dreamed of.”
She pounded her fist to glass coffee table. There was a crash and bits of shining glass shattered and the blue plant on top of it fell to the ground. Dirt and glass spilled across the red carpeted floor.
“Violet!” The man jerked from his chair and came forward from the darkness. His features now visible in the pale light that hung overhead. “Contain yourself!”
Violet looked at the blood as it ran down her fingers and hands like worms.
As if being awoken from a daze, she glanced at the shattered coffee table and then back to her hand. From her pants pockets she grabbed a small cloth and started to smear the running blood away.
“I’m sick of that excuse,” she snarled, picking bits of glass from her hand. “I have been nothing but your pawn since the day I was born. What is the point of all that knowledge if I just have it? I want to use it, use it for the power you deserve to let me have!”
“You deserve nothing,