Welcome to May!! The image we’re writing to this month is an awesome SciFi scene. I was a bit stumped at first, but then remembered the hint of an idea I came up with about . . . 8 years ago. Hope you enjoy!
The meeting room of the Dyson City-State Directorate was huge and imposing. Lush carpeting, marble floors, and an authentic wooden table spoke of absolute wealth. However, it was a wall of floor to ceiling windows that let a visitor know he or she was in the presence of power. The windows displayed a view of the connected walkways, travel tube and buildings of the upper echelon, as well as the top of the dome that protected the city. It truly was an amazing and awe-inspiring sight. Of course, no one in the room noticed the view, they were all too busy yelling and arguing. Executrix Katrill Owen, leader of the directorate and thus Dyson itself, eased back in her chair. She had been in the job less than a handful of days and the council was beginning to realize she could not be controlled. She wondered how long it would be before they tried to murder her as they had her father.
Katrill leaned forward and rapped on the table. The room quieted immediately. “It seems to me a trade agreement with the other city-states would be in our best interest, especially Vorn. We have technology and they have room to grow. If we trade our tech for some of their dome space we can only come out the winner.”
Colin Phipps smiled at her. “Katrill you are new to the council and do not understand the nuances of the trade agreements. If you would allow me to take care of this—”
Katrill turned cold green eyes on him. “Mr. Phipps you are out of order. You do not have leave to call me by my first name. As for the trade agreements, I understand them quite well since I am the person who wrote them to begin with. If I wish your opinion or assistance I’ll ask, but I doubt that will happen.
“In any case,” she went on, “I’ve already spoken to Executrix Fallon of Vorn and we are in agreement. She and I signed the agreement this morning.”
“What?” Letham burst out. “You can’t do that.”
“Oh, yes I can. The Council is an advisory board only. I have full and absolute authority to make decisions. The agreement is good for every citizen of Dyson.”
Jathan Douglas, her uncle, cleared his throat. “Let us adjourn until next week. I’m sure we are all tired and coming back refreshed will be best for everyone.”
The assembly rose and bowed to Katrill, then filed out of the room. She relaxed back in her chair and enjoyed the silence of the room. When it was empty, the room was fairly pleasant. Of course, it never stayed empty for long when she was in residence. There were always people who wished to come and petition her for some favor or another. Too much, people wanted too much from her, took too much from her.
She stood quickly and paced to the window. The view was magnificent. Walkways lined with beautifully tended gardens created a framework for the sparkle of the dome itself. Katrill never tired of the view. But she wondered how the people, her people on the lower level survived. In her entire life, she had never been anywhere but on the top tier. She knew the building she currently occupied was hundreds of stories in the air, but she hadn’t ventured even ten down, ever. People called Grounders lived in the lower levels of the buildings. They were the caretakers of the buildings, ensuring nothing ever went wrong. The people who lived on the ground or the Stews, as it was called, eeked out a living best they could. Finally, there was the Underneath. Katrill shivered. She had heard stories of the people who lived in the underground labyrinth of Dyson. They were dangerous killers, thieves, answering only to themselves. These were her people, all of them, but how to help them.
The only people who were allowed to even gain an audience with her were the Echelon, the ruling class, and the elite rich of the city-state. And they imagined they could rule her, manipulate her. Never again, she told herself, never again would she allow herself to be taken advantage of, used as if she were nothing. Her father had done this and look where he ended up. Dead. She hadn’t had anything to do with it, contrary to the rumors. But she wasn’t sorry he was gone.
She rolled her eyes, once again, she was interrupted. “Yes, Mr. Phipps, what can I do for you?” She turned to face the man who had been her betrothed. He was a handsome man, or that’s what people told her, with his carefully coiffed blond hair, blue eyes, and impeccable clothing choices. Colin knew exactly what to wear to show off his five-seven frame to its best. Katrill had never found him handsome. In fact, she found him fake and pretentious and a total bore. So, when her father was murdered, she had immediately broken off the marriage contract. Colin had been her father’s choice, never hers. Personally, if her father liked him so much, he should have married him. They would have been very happy together.
He smiled at her as if she were a small child needing to be placated. “I do not like how you speak to me in the meetings. Darling, people must see us as a team. Once we’re married and head the council together—”
“We are not getting married.” Katrill said, firmly. “We have already had this discussion.” She hated that smile and the tone he used on her.
“Your father’s death has made you confused—”
“No, my father’s death made me happy. I do not wish to contract with you. I never wished it, but he insisted. He is no longer here and I am free to do what I wish. With whom I wish. You will only address me as Executrix, nothing more. You do not have my leave to use my first name, ever. Now get out and do not speak of this to me again.”
He narrowed his eyes at her. “You’ll be sorry.” He turned and huffed out of the room as Jathan reentered. He raised his eyebrows at Katrill and shook his head. “Your father never should have made a contract for you with that boy. He’s weak. You’d run right over him.”
She gave a slight smile. “But that’s the point. He’s weak and father wanted to control him.” She turned back to the windows. “So how are you this day?”
“Well as to be expected since my favorite niece is upset.”
She smiled at the older man and shrugged. “I’m your only niece, I believe.”
“That’s true.” He gave her a brief hug. “I worry about you. After what happened to your father, I don’t think it’s safe. You need some type of body guard, someone who can watch over you all the time.”
Katrill sighed. “Uncle, we’ve been through this before. I do not want someone living with me, getting in my way.”
He paced about and Katrill smiled. Jathan Douglas was her mother’s only brother and Katrill loved him dearly. Since her mother had died when Katrill was very young, Jathan was the only connection she had to the woman who had given life to her. From image cubes, Katrill knew her uncle had the same white blond hair and clear green eyes. The same eyes her mother passed to Katrill. Though Katrill had chestnut hair, like her father, mores the pity.
“What about a Bio-Guard?” Her uncle asked.
Katrill shrugged. “I don’t know much about them.”
“They are human animal hybrids specifically engineered to be whatever a person wishes. Some want just a pretty pet and others, like you, need protecting. From what I understand, once an imprint happens, they are loyal to the death.”
“Yes, but I don’t want anyone—”
“Katrill,” her uncle cut her off. “They are essentially animals. You feed and water them, and give them a place to sleep. It’s not as if you’re sharing your home with a person.”
Katrill sighed, her uncle worried about her so much. She understood why, she was the only link he had with his beloved sister. Maybe she should look into a Bio-Guard. What could it hurt? If she didn’t find something that pleased her, she could leave.
“Okay, I’ll check into it.”
Jathan smiled. “Good, good, that makes me feel much better. You need to start taking your safety more seriously especially since you plan on shaking up the status quo.”
She kissed his cheek. “How could I not since you worry so? I don’t want that.”
Now head on over and see what Siobhan came up with.