Blackbirds: 421/422

A war had raged inside Ara.

She did not fully understand the overwhelming feelings even now. On one hand she had wanted to give in and yell at him, hurt him like he did her, and never see him again. On the other hand, she felt deep compassion, an unfathomable depth of benevolence and wisdom that came from the ages.

But she couldn’t give it to him because the war that raged inside her burned fiercely and she fought to find middle ground. Since she did not know what side would win, she chose to wait. Caleb suggested she keep those feeling fresh as even he, who knew her so well, found it hard to access her public mind. Caleb. He was her first love.

One hundred and fifty-four years after Tara was conceived Ara fingered her blackbird pendant even as Caleb fingered his. After the Genocide Vote and Trickster visiting them in the cabin, they had made a pact.

“We use it, Ara. We use what the Snakes did and turn it back on them.”

She could only nod. “I just don’t know who to trust.”

“The worlds may depend upon what we do. Everyone seems to have an agenda.”

“At least we have this, the Blackbirds.”

Ara and Caleb simultaneously looked around. They were sitting on a rock ledge, their legs dangling over. Behind them lay a smooth rock plateau. In front of them a rocky landscape dipped into the horizon of the planetoid. Around the planetoid was inky blackness. To their right, below them, sat Seeker Monkey and Seeker Baby. Ara’s cargo hold was open and they had begun to stack numerous crates before deciding to climb to the plateau. A figure exited Seeker Baby carrying wood planks, set them down and waved to them.

Ara sighed. “I guess we best get to work before Jamie nags us.”