Direct link to chapter 8: http://eepurl.com/bzFFhf
This one will read slightly better as my second editor went through it, the third editor is scheduled for October. But NOTE STILL EDITING HAS TO BE DONE!!!!
We flew back to the manor around six-thirty that morning and crawled into bed. George went home and Becky passed out next to me.
The memory of what had happened here last night laid heavy in the air.
It thickened the air somehow and I struggled to breathe.
I couldn’t sleep even though I was dead tired and found myself in the kitchen.
I switched on the kettle and waited for the water to boil.
A pair of female arms wrapped around me. I looked over my shoulder and only saw her silver blonde hair. I hadn’t even heard her come in. They were so silent when they move around.
“You want a cup of coffee?”
She started to giggle. “Coming from the Princess of Paegeia, how can I refuse?”
I smiled. She never treated me like that, like the princess. I felt like a part of her family, like a normal human being and not something that had special blood, something that was breakable when she was around.
I took out another cup of the cupboard and made us both strong coffee as Isabel took the chair at the wooden table.
I put her cup in front of her. She looked dead tired, drained from last night.
I always felt sorry for her as she was the mother of the Rubicon, she loved him unconditionally and her husband was one of the most vile dragons out there. How on earth had my father found the courage to tame him?
We sat in silence, drinking our coffee..
“How are they?”
“Robert wakes up every now and then but always goes back to sleep a couple seconds later.”
“I’m so sor…”
“Don’t Elena, he almost killed my son and he desperately needed that himself.”
“I couldn’t stop. If it hadn’t been for Dean and George…”
“It’s over. You have shown him mercy with that beating. He will be good for a long, long time again. I don’t know how to thank you for that.” Her eyes glistened with tears.
“I beat him up, Issy. You make me sound like some sort of a saint.”
She just smiled and looked down at her cup again.
“They say that the Dragonians feel worse than the Dragon after a beating. It will pass when you see how it transforms Robert.”
“Why can’t Blake hold out longer?” I asked.
“He’s still young and new to this Dragon/Rider relationship. It’s something that only kicks in with years and years of being a part of a team. You become dark for the right reasons and not because you want to be. Blake, well, the wrong kind of dark still lays heavy with him.”
“And that disappears when they are part of a Dent?”
She nodded, closed her eyes and threw her head back. She sighed, opened her eyes again. “I just wish he didn’t have to fight so much against this.”
“I’m used to it.”
“You are so strong, Elena.”
What? Nobody had ever told me that. “I can just imagine how he must make you feel when he rebels against this. It breaks my heart. Every time I look at him, I see the son that I lost. He was such a beautiful creature, so helpful and kind. We used to be so proud of him, he was a real blessing, did really good in school and then he started to become darker. The process was slow, and now….” She wiped a tear away. “I know I shouldn’t lose hope, not now that you are here, but I’m scared of holding on too tightly. What if he never Dents? What then?”
“We deal with it, or I’ll deal with it.” I tried to reassure her that I had everything under control even if I had nothing in control.
She touched my hand. “I know plenty of people tell you this, but you really are so much like your father and Katie too. I wish I could show you what they were like in real life.”
I smiled. If only she knew about him. Don’t think about that.
Her chair screeched on the floor as she got up, put her cup in the basin and came over to me, kissing me on my head.
“Try to go and sleep, I’m quickly going to check up on Blake.”
She started to walk away.
“Will he be okay?’
She turned around and nodded with a slight smile. “It might take a couple of weeks, but he’ll be fine.”
I watched her body disappear around the corner. I finished my coffee and went back to my room.
Around six we were taken back to the port.
Constance was still with us, and the silence was as thick as a knife as all of us, including Tabitha, took the elevator back to Elm.
She was quiet, didn’t even look at anybody. I didn’t even know what had happened, why she was unconscious lying in the corner.
I wanted to ask her how it all started, but that was pushing my limits, so I kept quiet.
We went our separate ways at the stairs, said goodbye to the boys and just went to our room.
This weekend was more than I could handle.
On Monday, it was bliss to have Blake-free classes again. I was worried, don’t get me wrong. Isabel said she would phone the minute he woke up, but I was also grateful for the terror-free classes.
How I stiffed up every time I entered a class and prayed that the professors wouldn’t push. His answers were always right, but he would find a way to slip in something, aiming at me. It was so stupid to think about it, and he was such a bully.
Without him here, I actually started to look forward to them again, well except Aviance.
Peter actually got Tabitha’s attention again as Blake was nowhere near to scare him away.
She wasn’t as mean to him as before, but you could see that she still didn’t love this relationship at all.
But it also meant that I was spending the entire hour alone, just sitting on the steps waiting for all of them to return and wishing that I could fly again myself.
That afternoon I had another meeting with King Helmut and King Caleb. It was our monthly meeting where decisions were to be made once again.
Emanuel smiled when he saw me in the lobby of Tith’s palace.
“Elena,” he greeted me.
“Hey,” I still sounded tired as we walked to one another.
“How is he?”
“Urgh!” I pulled my face. “You heard.”
“Yes, unfortunately a beating like that doesn’t stay quiet for long. It’s a wonder that the cockroaches don’t know about it yet.”
I giggled as he had adopted my name for them.
“You ready for this?”
“No, but I guess it’s a choice I don’t have.”
“It sucks, I know. Let me take you.”
We walked and talked the entire way to King Helmut’s study. Emanuel only knocked once and opened the door.
“Your Majesties, the Princess is here.” I slapped him playfully once as I entered.
A small chuckle escaped his lips as he closed the door.
The meeting finally started, on the table were so many choices to be made. Some of them gave me a headache, another one should’ve been handled already, the contract about the oil.
“Caleb, we’ve already decided against that,” King Helmut sighed.
“It’s still debatable.”
I wished my father was here. He would’ve stuffed it.
“Well, my vote is still no. I’m not going to let the Dragon cities feel threatened no matter how much money will come Paegeia’s way because of this deal. We have to live in harmony with the Dragon cities, Caleb.”
“I’m with Helmut,” I said.
“You don’t see the bigger picture.” King Caleb started again.
“No, you don’t,” I said back. “It will be a mess we will have to clean up.”
He gave me that sarcastic look of his. “You do not sort messes out, Princess.”
“I could if you’d let me.”
“You don’t have nearly enough experience for that kind of responsibility, to be honest I don’t think you are even ready for this sort of decision making, Elena.”
“Then what do you want me to do, Caleb? I’m bending all sides for you just to give me a chance to prove that I’m willing to learn? All you do is tell me that I’m not ready, so teach me.”
“I’m trying but you don’t even want to listen.”
“Because we don’t look at things the same way. Greed is what pushes you in life, mine is heart.”
He jumped up. “How dare you?” He pounded his fist on the table.
“Enough, both of you,” King Helmut said and I sat down.
“She has no authority to say those things, she knows nothing, nothing.” Caleb sounded like a deranged dragon.
“Then maybe if you shared your belief in why you want this, your reason behind this, without sounding like a greedy bastard to her, maybe she will get it.”
King Caleb sat down and started telling me about a couple of things, things we didn’t have the money for because it cost way above budget. I listened, they were all really good reasons, more farms, work for the people, more of everything. I actually considered changing my vote the way he made it sound, but I couldn’t.
“I’m sorry that I thought you were greedy, but we can’t approve of this project.. We have to find the money somewhere else.”
“I’m sure in this pile of things, there might be an answer, Caleb.”
He shook his head. He was so adamant.
“I’m not going to change my vote either, Caleb, and I think Elena is right. We will find the funding for this with some other project.”
“You know what, whatever.” He sounded like a spoiled brat who didn’t get his way and got up and left, making an excuse about why he had to cut this meeting short.
“Why does he do that?” I asked King Helmut after the door closed.
“He felt that he finally had a voice after your father died.”
I squinted. “What do you mean?”
“This has been the way we sorted out decisions since your grandfather gave both our fathers land to rule. Your father was a lot like you and mostly agreed with me.”
“He must know the way he thinks about things are a bit disturbing right.”
King Helmut laughed. “He just has another vision than us, Elena. Believe me his ideas are brilliant, and his intentions are in the right place, it’s just the way he tries to obtain what he needs that gets a bit clouded.”
Clouded was an understatement if he really wanted to disturb an entire Dragon city hosting colonies of dragons in order to get what he wanted.
“But he has a good point. We need to find something that might just help bring in some money.”
For the next two weeks, Helmut and I went through a couple of projects. I would go each day after school to the castle of Tith and we would go through all the projects that wanted funding.
There were a couple that really grabbed my intention. One was called the Sonic. From what I read it was way advanced technology. It was going to cost an arm and a leg too which meant other projects that were in the verge of getting granted had to wait. But it could mean a lot of money if it worked, the kind Caleb needed to do what he wanted. The “if” was huge.
It reminded me of a Cammy. It was the same sort of contraption but it could actually make the connection between an actual event that was recorded and your mind. The explanation read like something straight out of a Sci-fi novel. The connection would send sensors to your mind, turning the recording into a real event. As if you were there. I could finally meet my mother, if this thing actually worked. There were plenty of recordings of them.
I put it in front of King Helmut and he read through it extremely fast. He just looked at me and the curves of his lips curled. “I know why you want something like this to work, Elena.”
“Can you blame me?”
“You must also think about the consequences about something like this.”
“What consequences are there? Do you know what this means, meetings could be held with the other side without letting our dragons sort things out. And the easiest part, all it needs is a recording. . It’s a completely different type of breakthrough, Helmut.”
“Elena,” he said.
“Please, just think about it. It’s a breakthrough and it could generate the money Caleb needs to do what he has to do. It’s a win-win.”
“Okay, I’ll think about it.”
I jumped up.
“But I also want you to go think about how much this will cost, and decide which of the other projects has to take a back step, so that we can fund something like this.”
“So you’re giving me homework.”
“You need to think about everything, Elena, before making a decision as big as this.”
“Okay fine, just give me the file.”
I put it in my backpack and said goodbye.
I had started to feel like someone important on this side. On my way back to Elm, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Sonic. I could meet my mom, even my father if it was what I thought it was.
If it was, King Helmut just had to back me up. He just had to.
When I walked through my door at Dragonia, Sammy had a huge smile on her face. She’d been extremely depressed about her brother so I knew what it meant.
“He finally woke up?”
She nodded and a small giggle escaped her lips. “He finally woke up.”
I put the file on my night stand and both of them reached their necks to see what was written on it.
I laughed, they were so nosey and I started to tell them about the Sonic. Their excitement was just as big as mine and they wanted me desperately to go for it.
“But it also means that some other projects will have to be pushed aside in order to fund this one, projects that have waited years for funding.”
“So, who cares? Let them wait.” Becky left her valuable input.
“See, that is why you are not a Princess,” Sammy said and we all laughed.
“That is a freaking cool idea and like Elena said a breakthrough in technology.”
“I agree,” Sammy said “but what are you giving up in order to fund something like this. I’m sure there are other projects out there just as good as this one.”
“There isn’t, believe me.”
Both girls laughed again.
Warbel tryouts were finally over and both were still waiting to get placed with a team.
Blake wasn’t coaching like last time. It was a shame as his team of the previous year came really close of winning the entire thing.
The next few days I had to go through files and files of projects that were on the verge of getting their funding.
Three big projects had to be cancelled to fund the Sonic.
On the Friday, I had made my decisions.
I had a meeting with both King Helmut and King Caleb, gave them my homework and all the reasons why I thought it could be good for something like this to exists, why the world was ready.
It went like a dream, if only it went the same way when I told them about which projects were going to wait slightly longer for funding.
King Caleb wasn’t happy at all, and King Helmut just kept quiet. I thought about this for hours and hours. We weren’t cancelling those projects, we just postponed them.
King Caleb ran out again as King Helmut decided to back the Sonic up.
It was amazing to tell the project leader that he’d gotten the funds and the press made a huge fuss about it again.
I knew it was going to work, it just had to work.
The following week, our first problem showed itself. One of the project leaders of the three I had postponed committed suicide.
Okay so trampling on ones dreams hadn’t been on my list of cons at all. I took it pretty hard and was nailed by King Caleb that I hadn’t thought about these sorts of actions.
Plenty of other problems started to show itself by granting the Sonic project. Still I had to push through, this could mean great things for me if it was going to work, but I didn’t like the problems that showed up, one of them was that a small lecturing institute closed down as they’d bargained on funding for their latest project that would’ve kept their doors opened.
Why that part hadn’t been in the file, beats me, my decision would’ve been different for sure.
Most of the time it sucked being a decision maker and the Princess of Paegeia. I had to read pages and pages about how I didn’t care for the human race.
“Hey, it’s just words, Elena. And it’s not everyone.” Sammy closed the pages of the magazine.
“Still, it’s my fault that Mr. Bedding killed himself, and my fault the institute closed down.”
“It’s not your fault Mr. Bedding killed himself, and if the institute ran their projects and money better, they would still be open.”
She just looked at me as I fell with my head on my pillow.
She tapped my leg.
“Dad feels horrible,” she said and took a sigh as a small smile formed on her lips. “But he is so nice. He needed that beating, Elena and thank you again.”
I nodded. I didn’t like any of it, and I was wrong to take my anger out on him.
“He wants to make up for it. We are going on a camping trip soon and he wants you to come with us.”
“I don’t know…”
“Elena, he is dying to see you.”
“Sammy, I almost killed your father if it wasn’t for Dean and George. I don’t know if I’m ready to face him yet.”
“You didn’t kill my father. He needed that beating, Elena. When are you going to grasp that?”
“I can’t grasp that, it was mean. I was angry. I bet you my father never laid a hand on yours in anger.”
“Okay, you were angry, but still, he needed that. Please come,” she made a puppy face with huge eyes, even the curled lip.
“Don’t look at me like that.”
“Please, it won’t be the same without you.”
“Is your brother going?”
“I can’t, Sammy. I have an entire weekend of royal duties.”
“Can’t you postpone?”
“No, I can’t. Besides, I’m sure I’ll feel better soon. The prototype is coming out next week. I’m really looking forward to it.”
“Are we invited to this one?”
“Of course you are.”
It took about four weeks for the Sonic prototype to come out and who else other than me was going to be its guinea pig.
I couldn’t wait.
I would go in to the science lab, which was called Techlabs with a funny sign that made me think of a refuse sign that used to be on the trashcans back home.
Lukas was the creator. He was extremely funny and so many things went wrong the first week, that I started thinking that they were all signs the King Helmut had been right about this project, that it shouldn’t have existed, but I would always push that to the back of my mind.
I had to see my mom.
The event was one afternoon and there was so much press in the lobby of Techlabs that it was almost impossible to get through the doors of the building.
We found the scientists that had worked on it in a private room with only a few, hand-selected members of press and plenty of Council members.
In front was a huge screen.
“Princess,” Lukas said as he called me forward. “Ready to meet your mother?”
I smiled and nodded as he put a huge head device over my head. “This will be replaced with small plugs that will be attached to your temple.” Lukas spoke to the press and flashes went off in our faces.
When he finished fastening the straps, he showed the press the recorded event he was going to use.
It was a charity event that my parents had organized.
My eyes welled up just thinking about seeing them. I hoped it was going to work, no I prayed it would work.
“Just close your eyes,” he said and guided me over to a chair.
He put earphones on my head and all the noises disappeared.
I closed my eyes and waited.
Nothing happened at first but then a bright light, like an old-fashioned TV set being switched on appeared in my mind.
It was going to reflect back what I saw and experienced on the big screen.
Then I found myself standing behind someone. It was a man since his back was huge, blocking my view. The entire picture filled my mind as more bodies appeared next to me. It was clear that I was in a crowd. Noises came then. All of them asking questions. It was weird; it literally felt like I was there. There were limitations though, as my sense of smell was gone. It felt like I had a cold.
I looked down at my hands. This is amazing.
“Queen Catherine,” one of the cockroaches a couple of paces in front of me said and I looked at him.
I was there.
Hope you liked it, a bit non action and not like the other chapters. And the Sonic is going to play a huge role in this story.
Till next week.