I carry a 2.4 condensed thermo-coil gun. It doesn’t have as much power as the 1.1 rifle, but it has an enhanced battery life, and the truth is that I don’t need the power of the 1.1 to take down these rebels. What I need is to be able to take as many shots as I can, and the 2.4 lets me do that. Also, the 2.4 has the ability to stun an enemy, and sometimes my merciful Lord wants me to take these rebels alive.

The rebels run back towards the woods, but I am with my Lord’s mistress, who has a remarkable sense of smell. She tracks the blood they have spilled through the streets. They cannot hide from us, the stain of their crimes gives them away. We find two of them, one of them in a dark cloak, and the other wearing animal hides. They are barbarians. My lords mistress pursues the one in the cloak, and I follow the one in the animal hides. I take a shot at him, but he dodges quickly, like he knew it was coming. I have many more shots, though, and one of them will belong to him.

He runs into an open door, and I follow him. He draws a large sword and holds it out in front of him. The light from the window slips across his eyes and I see that they are blue, like mine. I am disgusted to share a trait with this man. I order him to put down the sword, but he just turns it in his hands, and looks into the blade. Suddenly his jaw goes slack, and he looks up at me.

“You are the one I’ve been looking for,” he says.

I raise my weapon. He is not the first would- be assassin to come after me. But he turns the sword around in his hand and presents it to me. “This is yours,” he tells me, surrendering.

It is pathetic. I had at least hoped for a fight this night. I take the sword from him. “You will come with me, “ I said, “By order of-”

“You are the one,” he whispers, his face soft, “mother and father will-”

I hit him with the hilt of the sword  on his forehead and he goes falls to the ground. He pushes himself up on his elbows and I kick him in the face, feeling the crunch as his nose buckles. He rolls over, and pushes himself up on hands and knees. I take his golden hair in my hands and smash his head into the floor, again and again, first with a crack, and then with a wet smacking sound.

The mistress, pulls me off of him “Alive,” she hisses, “He wants them alive.” I pant against her, exhausted. The man is lying of the ground, completely still,  his hands next to his head.

I know those hands. They are the hands of the man in my dream. This is the man I’ve dreamed of since I was a girl. I run outside. I do not want to look at him. He cannot be real.

PART THREE                                                                               PART FIVE