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//

She hears a silent, calming voice whispering to her. “Clark I am so, so sorry … but I must do that, the Ark isn’t safe for you anymore….” The voice is warm and full of love, but she can hear it cracking as the sentence came to the end. “You will be fine my love, you are going to a better place, you are going to the ground.” Then she feels a finger traveling lightly on her chin and cheeks, which is followed by a gentle kiss on her forehead. “May we meet again honey “ she lastly hears, before large metal doors are closed with a laud hiss. She is trapped in the dark, rounded place, strapped with several harnesses, without the possibility of movement.

 

Somewhere outside she can hear muffled conversation, and when she looks around, she can see different gauges and lit up screens, but without understanding their functions her eyes just glance from one to another, as fear was growing inside of her, partly because of unknown surroundings and party because of a sound of engines starting up.

 

The room begins to shake and wobble, as the noise intensified. And then a burst of speed glues her to chair, preventing her to move even muscle in her body. Through the small windows on the side of this strange moving room she can see first the blackness of space with little shining dots in the background, and then, as the angle changes, her eyes are staring at the mixture of blue and white, green and brown, as the Earth is becoming larger with every passing second. Inside of her different emotions were raging, from the fear of the unknown, to the excitement of discovering new things and maybe a little sadness too, because the gentle voice from before hadn’t come with her. She felt a bit safer and more comfortable as she had remembered the soothing voice and a caring kiss on her forehead. She was wondering to whom it could belong, when a violent jolt had knocked her out of thinking. She looked through the windows only to see flames engulfing her little ship.

 

She felt as though a hand have grasped her stomach and squeezed hard as the fear was creeping back inside of her. She noted that inside temperature had risen sharply and she was sweating heavily. She was wiping the sweat from her face and eyes, when entire ship was violently shaken again and Clarke started to scream in terror, but that didn’t last long as she suddenly felt terrible pain in the head, as a metal plate broke loose from the  ceiling and made contact with her head. In front of her eyes, red dots started to appear and they were mixing with the fire storm outside….and then the darkness took her. 

 

She had woken up still strapped in her seat, the pain in her head didn’t let up, as she started to realize that she is still alive, injured but alive. She lifted her hand up in an attempt to free herself from the seat, but she couldn’t, the pain was too much for her to handle. As she moved her head to look around her, she discovered that the surrounding area is totally destroyed. Through the holes she saw burnt and broken pieces of the ship and also broken trees laying around…again she tried to unbuckle herself, but this time the pain came shooting thru her body even harder than before and she just collapsed into painless oblivion.

//

 

Chapter Text

//

As the shadows grew longer and darker, and forest was preparing for the night rest, a man stepped out of the undergrowth and disturbed this relative peace. The muscles in his body prepared for anything, his mind sharp and focused. He clearly wasn’t just strolling around in the woods, he was on the mission.

 

And his eyes had finally caught a glimpse of the target. A beautiful stag was grazing beneath a mighty oak tree. The man silently lifted his hand, his fingers traveling on his dark tanned skin, removing the sweat from the face. His eyes still fixed on the animal, when he reached to his quiver on his back, grabbing an arrow and place it on the bow.

 

Lincoln closed his eyes for a moment to concentrate. His mind blank, without any though or emotion, when he string the bow and aimed to the heart of the beast. He released and watched as the arrow flue to the target. He walked thru the dens undergrowth slowly and carefully to find a place, where the animal laid.  He was grateful for such a catch, as the animal would provide meat for a long time. “You fight is over” he quietly whispered, as he found a knife on his belt and leaned to animal to begin work.  

//

She was submerged into bittersweet memories, which could still, after all the time that passed from her death, pushed her to the edge of tears. She tried to think about her real problems, the war that was brewing, the coalition, her people and politics among the clans, to ease almost a physical pain in her stomach, which was triggered by the memories, but she failed miserably.

 

She pointed her green eyes through the window, to the bluish sky and watched as the sun slowly disappeared behind the mountains and she tried not to think about a single tear that escaped from the corners of her eyes and slide down her face.

 

A laud knock on the door pushed her out of her thoughts and she begun frantically trying to wipe away any clues of tears. “Enter” she barked, still trying to remove the emotions from her voice. Titus entered and bowed “Heda, our scouts had returned.” He started to speak “the entire army of the Blood clan had gathered on our borders”

 

Why are they doing that, this is clear provocation and I will be forced to respond, she pondered quietly, but she had another, more important question to ask out loud.  “What about their numbers? “ Titus responded with a worried look on his face. “Heda, reports were inconclusive, but the last time they marched, they had almost 10 times the number of our warriors.”

She gasped, but he wasn’t finished yet. “We need to call all the ambassadors from the clans and prepared our army to march as soon as possible, there is no time to lose, no time for words just for actions, they don’t know the meaning of mercy in war “

 

She nodded in approval, her face a mask of determination, but inside of her anger was boiling. So much work, pain, patience, travels and even deaths were needed to form the Coalition, but now everything could be undone because of blood lust of a single man, King Alt.

I am so sorry Costia , she though, I have failed you again. Her heart in great pain once again, as she turned from Titus to watch the sunset unfold in the distance.

 

The next day, she was out of bed even before the sunrise. Her head full of worry about the future, and her heart full of pain about the past. She made her way to the balcony, where her eyes rested on the city below, and her dark blue nightwear swirled in light breeze that was blowing from the mountains that surrounded Polis. Her green eyes were following little figures, as they moved thru the maze of streets, sometimes disappearing into buildings of houses.

She was responsible for their safety and well being and also for survival of the Coalition. The thing Costia died for, she added to herself with sadness flowing thru her like a raging river. But now, again we are on the brink of war and all the lives lost for the cause could be for nothing. That though   waved heavily on her.

As she watched the sun slowly rising above the mountain peaks, something in her changed. Strong sense of determination flow thru her, washing the pain and sadness away, until only Heda remained.

No king, regardless of the size of the army he possesses, or his brutality, won’t threaten my city or Coalition.” She quietly wowed and promised at the same time. “He will soon learn that crossing me was a mistake and his last one.” With that thought in her head, she turned her back to the sun, and returned to the room. She striped the nightdress and vent to wash herself.  When she was done, she grabbed soft leather underdress and pants, dressing them quickly and then the hands vent for the light mail, metal shoulder guard and boots. She also strapped two daggers on her thighs and put a sheath with her sword on her back, securing all the straps in the end.

 

She walked thru the door, giving almost friendly nod to the guards outside, and continuing on the hallway to the elevator. She entered slowly and listened to the noise of spinning wheel downstairs. Before the machine started moving, it shuck violently but soon she was descending smoothly and soon the doors had opened. She walked out, again nodding to the guards standing in the room.

 

On her way to the door she stopped in front of a guard named Kia. “Find Indra and tell her, that her presence is requested in the war room later today.” The guard bowed and exited the room quickly.   

The morning sun blinded her for a moment, as she stepped on already hot and busy streets of her beloved city. She started walking slowly, enjoying the fell of the light breeze on her face, but suddenly, a sound of footsteps interrupted her peaceful walk and she turned, only to find two of her guards trailing her. They both nodded in respect and she smiled, to them and to herself. When did I become so tense, so on edge? she wondered and started walking, the smile still on her lips.

The sounds of the street, the smell of the fresh baked bread begin to pour into her brain, removing all the worries, problems that trouble her. These morning walks were her favorite free time occupation, she felt alive, like could breathe in the life around her.

The people on the streets would bow their head; some even kneel as she passed them and she in return smiled, shake hands and found a kind word for everyone, but the children were her favorite travel companions, their laugh, smiles and innocent eyes really wakening and cheering her up.

 

After some time, she arrived at the market. Here the smell of food was even stronger and her stomach soon begun to beg for food. She entered a bakers shop and bought a piece of bread and an apple. Her guards stayed outside until she came out, and then they followed her to the bench in the shade of a giant tree, where she ate her meal.

When she finished the taller guard approach her. “Heda what is our next destination?” he asked officially. “That is a good question, I don’t know” she replied with a glimpse of a smile. “May I suggest something?” he spoke again waiting for a response. She nodded and he continue the question with a glimpse of fear in his eyes. “In the barracks, there is a training day and I and my partner would be honored if you would allow us to participate.” Lexa nodded slowly “I like the idea, and I might need a good spare session too.” She added, her smile widening.

//

Clarke woke up as the cold, ice cold breeze made contact with her pale skin on the back and shoulders. Her fingers hurrying to find the corners of the fur, which she used to cover herself in the cold nights, but she found a different kind of warmth, the type she wasn’t expecting to find beside her; human warmth. From where she laid, she could only see a dark tan back, with complex tattoos covering the almost entire surface. As her fingers made contact with the stranger’s back, the head begun to fill with memories from the night before.

Gentle fingers touching her cheek, a passionate kiss that ends with entwined tongues, a hand playing with her blond hair, a strong feeling deep inside of her which expands to the sweat area between her legs, tongue moving along the insides of her thighs and the explosion of pleasure that erupted inside of her….

Slowly her fingers traveled up the tanned body, exploring again its beauty and curves, until they reached dark brown hair. She could smell the special scent eradiating from them and again that triggered a wave of pleasant memories.

 

She moved closer, to breathe in more of this scent. Her body nestle up close to the warmth emitted by the other woman’s body. Her blue eyes closed, in hope that the moment would last forever.

 

But that was only a wild dream, she discovered as she heard fast footsteps approaching her private chambers. She gently shook the girl, trying to wake her up, before Gallan, her tall and hansom advisor could storm into the room as he sometimes does, frightening or just embarrassing the girl in the process. 

But the body didn’t move an inch, so Clarke just pulled the fur over the brown hair, wondering about the name of the girl, she invited into her bed yesterday evening. She stretched her brain, but nothing smart or useful came out.

 

But all thoughts about the woman were temporary forgotten, as four masked figures burst thru the door, their swords and daggers poised to strike. A voice escaped from behind the mask of the closest one “search the room for any maps or papers” as he moved closer to the bad, with his sword ready.

The shock, the blond felt was quickly replaced by quite determination and her muscle memory kicked in. Clarke grabbed her blade, which was always at the side of the bad and blocked the incoming strike.

She could see a surprise flashing over the man s face as she jumped from the bad, her lean sword ready, and her blond hair swirling in the cold morning air. She saw his eyes traveling from her breasts to the large scar on her stomach to the place between her lags. She saw lust and desire on the killers face and the blonde smiled. “What a view, an ice princess naked in front of your eyes…” she laugh but the humor didn’t reach her sky blue eyes. “Your wife wouldn’t be pleased I assume…but no worries, this will be your last memory on this world, I promise.”

The man didn’t know how to answer, and she didn’t wait for him. Their swords clashed together and the song of steel rang out. Behind her back she could feel two more masked shapes approaching silently, hoping to surprise her. She dodged the next strike and ran to the side of the room, where she kept another sword.

 

She turned around, facing the assailants. She bleed a little from cut on her arm and she could fell the blood dripping from her nose but she didn’t care. And her opponents were in fare worse condition, blood pouring from their cuts and one laid in the corner without his head.  

She smiled again and teased them. “What is that, one little nude girl against four, sorry three masked killers and I am still breathing?” they didn’t respond so she continue “I hope that the clan, who hired you doesn’t know how unfit assassins you are.” Their leader growled with anger and charged and the rest followed. 

 

As the blades collided with force, the song of pain, death and steel could be heard again. The blond used her speed and stamina to dance around the room, slashing at her enemies, dodging their attacks. Her blade becoming bloodier by the second, her gold braids sprayed with arterial blood gushing from the wounds of her dying would-be killers.

Suddenly she slipped on the bloody floor and a blade almost cut her arm of, but it stopped in her shoulder. She didn’t scream when the pain flooded her senses, many times before she could fell stronger pain than this.

Her blue eyes were steel when she looked up to the man in front of her. She could read the shock written in his eyes when she grabbed the blade with her right hand and pull it out of her shoulder, ignoring the spray of blood coming from the wound and the pain coming from her cut hand. “Nice try, but you should have aimed a little more to the left; it’s a little hard to cut thru the shoulder with an almost dull sword.” She pointed out, pulling the blade out of his grip and standing up.

The man charged at her with a dagger in his hand; what a beautiful hilt, a thought crossed her mind when she cut him almost in half with a swing of her blade.

She looked across the room, accessing the damage they had done. All four lay dead on the floor, their bodies badly damaged, stab wounds still bleeding slowly, limbs and other body parts missing. A soft noise floated to her ears, for a second she didn’t  recognized it, but then her brain made the connection, and she dive to the ground for safety, as a knife flue right throe the spot, her head was a second before.

Her eyes meeting the brunette in the corner of the room, as she lowered her throwing arm and grabbing a bloody sword from the ground. The hart in her chest started vibrating from the pain, sadness and betrayal. “What are you doing?” she could hear her voice cracking with emotions “we just meet yesterday, why are you doing ….” She still couldn’t understand when suddenly all the pieces came together and she understand.

 

The women in the corner laugh without any humor. ”you should have seen your face right now, Clarke” were her first worlds in that bloody morning. “I still remember the filling of your lips  on mine, your hands traveling all over my body, thank you for that princess, I will never forget…..” her words cease in the middle of the sentence and she look down, the pain clearly visible on her face, only to see a hilt of a sword sticking out of her chest. Her lungs were making last breaths, as the brunette slides to the ground, her eyes still staring at Clarke, stubborn to the end.

The blonde sits on the bad, recovering from the shock, the pain that is raging inside of her. The air is thick from the metallic smell of blood, death and other fluids. She is quietly falling apart, her hands begun to shake as the adrenalin rush from the battle slowly die down.

She still can’t believe what just happened. The girl she meet the day before, trying to kill her, four armed and masked man braking into her chambers, again trying to kill her. Nothing new for her; she thought as her lips begin to curve into a sad grin, but still all of this must be connected somehow, and she would came to the bottom of this mass, she swears .

Filed with new found determination she stands up, again looking at the blood sprayed walls, bodies cut to pieces and her look even wonders to the girl in the corner. She shakes her head, trying to think what to do next. She grabs a leather shirt and pants; both sprayed with a red liquid and slowly knell to every corpse, looking for any clan marks they forgot to remove. Her search is fruitless, she finds nothing.

 

A loud gasp escapes her, as she walks throe the door. The two guards stationed in front of her room are lying on the ground, their necks cut open. “Your fight is over” she quietly whispers, as she closes their eyelids with a gentle touch.   

Her insides are now filling with anger as she walks to end of the hallway, with her still bloody blade in the inured hand. Her laude voice echoes through the still quite corridors and rooms. “Guards, to my chambers!”

For a second there is no response. But then countless footsteps and laud orders could be heard all around her. First to reach her, are two of her personal guards Echo and Val. Both man accustomed to sounds, fell and smell of the battle, but she could see glimpse of fear and sickens as they approach her room, the stench of death still in the air. “My princess, what happened here?”  The older one asks with disbelieve in his eyes. “Val I had visitors this morning and they tried to end my life…” the blonde explains, almost amused by his unofficial, almost ordinary way of talking to her. “I see…and I guise they failed” his smile now clearly visible. The blond just nods in agreement, her mind elsewhere.

His younger partner removed his eyes from the killed guards in front of the door and looks inside. He swears loudly as he turns to Val. “Look, there was five of them, and they are all dead now…cut to pieces….and the blood, it everywhere” he tells Val quietly, his voice full of disbelieve, but also with fear and a slight disgust over the bloody scene inside. Val doesn’t bother to reply, he has seen the efficiency and brutality of the blonde in combat first hand; he witnessed the single combat between the ice queen and princess, the event that changed the history of Azgeda forever.

 

// 

 

Chapter Text

//

Dark, almost black eyes were staring at the map, placed on a large wooden table. She could barely see the details on the paper, because of the darkness in the room, as only two candles were lit, illuminating the room with a weak, flickering light.

But the person in the room barely noticed the dark surroundings; she had more pressing concerns on her mind. Eyes were traveling over the beautiful drawn lines on the map; rivers, villages, towns, forests, the sea, hills, mountains…with that word in her mind, eyes instantly stopped at the mountain drawn on the map, not very far from TonDC; eyes struggling to decipher the inscription below, but her mind had no problem memorizing the name.

The name, which is burned into the collective memory of the people, living in its shadow.                 

Its name spoken, is enough to send shivers down the spine of even the bravest warriors, and so it doesn’t come as a surprise that no Heda ever tried to end their threat, she tough while the memories of her family flow to the surface, bringing along sadness and anger, which was long buried deep down, in the darkest corners of her mind.

The memory of home village was still fresh in her mind, the scent of the forest, birdsong echoing throe the air and the sun accusingly shining throe the treetops, warming her as she lied on the grass with her eyes closed, absorbing the peace and the noises of the forest.

She was just a little girl than, with no worries and no responsibilities. She didn’t need to think about the future of the entire Coalition, no Blood clan, nothing.

She enjoyed working on the fields, fishing or just gathering wood for the fire. Her family meant everything to her. Her father, a large but gentle man with black, almost coal like hair and with a smile always on his lips. She could tell him everything, the problems she caused, the boys she beat up, the things she broke and he would just laugh with his laud almost roaring voice.

Her mother was a beautiful woman, her long dark brown hair were glowing in the sun, as she worked on the field, singing to her old songs from before the war that destroyed the world. She enjoyed cooking and she could sew up the jacket in days. She remembered the gentle kisses on the forehead, when she was almost asleep and a two voices intertwining. One soft and gentle and one more rough, but still loving. “Good night sweetheart” they would repeat every evening as the sun slowly set behind the mountain.

A mountain that would someday take both of them, leaving her as a warning and a reminder of the power that mountain Man still have over the people in their shadow.

And after many years, the girl with black eyes and many scars on her soul rose throe the ranks in the army, fought in many wars, killed and tortured many great warriors and now Indra was sitting in the dark room, looking on the map, waiting on a messenger with important news. She was the general in the Heda’s army and they were at war one more.

Her eyes again on the map, she was looking north to the Ice nation territory. The people there were fierce warriors, armed to the teeth and drilled mercilessly. Their discipline in battle impossible to match even by her clan and most importantly they have the numbers on their side. Even if their lands are covered by ice and deep snow most of the year and the land looks barren and without life, the people are numerous and so is the army.

And a huge army is exactly what Heda need right now. Indra thought, her eyes still focusing on the map trying to read in poor light emitted by the candles.

//

Dusk was slowly but surely descending on Polis, but in the training yard near the city barracks the song of steel clashing with steel was still in the air.

Lexa barely dodged an axe which traveled centimeters from her head.  That was close, a thought crossed her mind when a gentle breeze swirled throe her braids.

Her sparing opponent was a giant of a man. His arms like tree trunks and a battle axe to match that. He was also quite swift and Lexa had felt the first sweat drops traveling dawn her back after just minutes exchanging blows. But she knew that type of warrior well, only strength and brute force fueling his blows but soon he would become tired and then she would make her move.

She was dancing around his, mostly dodging his strikes, sometime she used both swords to block his attacks. Over time she could see his breathing becoming lauder and his face redder from the strain of the battle or just anger; she didn’t know and she didn't care.

Her personal guards in the background were encouraging her with laud cheers and howls, but she knew the reason for that. The scared look in the eyes of the taller guard, which escorted her from the tower and an invitation to a training session, told her the entire story. They have bet on her victory against the giant. Her face forming a little grin, as the man charged with his axe poised to strike.

Her fingers firmly clutching the leather wrapped around the grip of the blades, she prepared for the impact with a battle axe. When it finally came, it shook her to the bone. The crowd stopped breathing for a moment as the man put his entire weight against her swords, but she endured it with only her green eyes showing the burden.

The power struggle didn’t last long, as she with almost unnatural force pushed the axe away and jumped to his flank. Man grunted with surprise and turned to face the threat. With every passing second his movements were slower and she knew her time to strike has come. Brunette dropped one of the blades in the dust; she needed one free hand for the plan to work.

A hint of surprise crossing over the man’s face, as his eyes followed the bluish blade fall on the ground. The brunette could almost see the thoughts swirling around in his head. He thinks I surrendered; she really amazed how foolish some warriors could be.

The crowd around her exploded in screams and yelling as the money started changing hands. Lexa could see with the corners of her eyes the disappointment and long noses of her personal guards in the background; their little scheme was seemingly failing miserably.

Her hand first wiping the sweat on her face, and then the little stream of blood coming from the split lip, caused by not very gentle collision with a battle axe handle shaped into a sphere.

Inside of her, a spark of anger emerged as she watched the giant parading around the battleground with his great axe lifted high into the air. So arrogant, so confident in himself and his supposed victory, that he forgot about the first rule any warrior learns. Newer let your enemy out of your sight, even if he has surrendered. A deep woman’s voice from her past told her that once, many years ago, when she was still training as a young girl with black blood coursing thru her veins. The memory of that day was still locked deep down inside, because the pain, sadness and loss but also joy and deep love she felt on that day were still too fresh and painful to face.

But a sense of Déjà vu pulled the memory from the depths and she had to close her green eyes to hide or just stop the tears from escaping as she recalled the day everything changed.  

 

After a rare and hard fought victory against her mentor, she let her emotions control her, her usual concentration and wariness gone completely as the adrenaline flooded her system, erasing the rest of the world around her but her fallow Nightbloods, who were standing in a circle around the pair.

In their eyes Lexa could see respect and awe over her achievement; not many of them managed to bring Anya to her knees, as she just did. But she paid heavy price for it. Her nose was broken, the light shirt she wore cut in pieces and a long diagonal wound on her stomach bleeding heavily.

She didn’t bother much to think about the injuries, she knew they were all superficial and none of them serious. The young healer who just traveled from Wood Clan to the capital will fix them in seconds as Nyko was trained by one of the oldest healers in his clan; her thoughts absently circulating in her head.

Her breathing and composure slowly returning to normal and she turned to the right, bending and grabbing the sword which was lying in the dust. The sun reflecting off the bluish blade, as she cleaned the weapon in her shredded shirt.

“Someday you will become a warrior and this blade will become your companion in the dark, your lover, who will the warm you in the cold and in the end, when your time comes, it will be your demise.” Lexa still remembered the lesson Anya give, when she and other Nightbloods were given new blades, which they will use in the Conclave. ”And until that days comes, you will take good care of this weapons.”

She took the words to her heart and every morning she first sharpens the swords with whetstone and then polished them, until they were like mirror, the decorative lines on the blade clearly visible.

As she was putting the weapon in its sheath, green met brown eyes looking at her from a distance and her heart stopped beating for a second. Previously unknown feeling of strong desire erupted inside of her and she felt confused. Who is that woman? Does she somehow know her? The eyes in which she couldn’t stop staring at were tender and soft, the color resembling the bark. She noticed a glimpse of surprise and maybe fear in them, as their owner wasn’t used to look the future Heda directly in the eyes.

Lexa broke the contact with the stranger, just to catch a glimpse of her beautiful face and the brown hair, decorated with simple braids. Her clothes were simple, a tunic and leather pants with only a light jacket to protect her from the cold wind. A farmer’s daughter; Lexa guested. Mixed emotions were raging in her head as her green eyes traveled back on stranger’s face she noticed a small scare on her neck. As the people started to shift and moved around, she lost sight of the girl and instantly she felt empty inside, as if someone special had left her. Her eyes straining to find the girl in the crowd but without any success. The emptiness and despair growing inside as she wondered about the name of a stranger in the crowed and if she would see her again.

A sudden blow from behind knocked her into the dust, the pain threatening to split her head open. For a second she didn’t know what to do, as she was still occupied with shining brown eyes from minutes before. She could feel a new stream of black blood making its way from the large wound in the back of the head.  

“Lexa, what are you doing, staring in to the crowd and exposing the back to me?” laud bark cut throe the air. “Did I teach you nothing in all this years…never turn you back to a still breathing enemy!” Anya’s words came reinforced with a strong punch which knocked the sword that Lexa just managed to pick up, straight back to the ground. The brunette’s mind was still in daze from the hit but she managed to look around in search of the pair of warm brown eyes while trying to avoid Anya’s angry look.

But her efforts were again in vain and she was slowly taken by the dark.

//

 

Chapter Text

//

A single knock on the door was enough to wake Indra from dark thoughts, her emotionless persona quickly falling back on her face. She mustn’t think about her family or the Mountain, not now when so much is at stake. She closed her eyes in an attempt to regain her composure, but the faces of the loved ones she lost so long ago, still persisted in her mind.

The sound of the air escaping from her lungs was so desperate, so sad that she couldn’t help to form a grim smile. She is Heda’s General and she doesn’t have the luxury to fell desperate of alone or anything for that matter. The forgotten girl that dragged her skinny body throe the gates of Ton DC was no more. “Kill the girl and let the warrior be born” a sentence from an old man, who once told her that, will remain in her memory forever.

At first she pondered about the meaning of those words, but as the time passed and she rose throe the ranks, experiencing the everyday hardships of being responsible first for the safety of the Ton DC and then for the existence of the Coalition, Indra slowly realized what the man wanted to say.

Her thinking was again interrupted by a laud knock. Air again escaped her lungs in annoyance, but this time soundlessly. Her eyes were gazing at the door as she loudly commanded. “Enter!”

Dark figure slipped thru the now open door. Indra’s dark eyes traveled suspiciously from the hood which covered the strangers head down the short body looking for any visible weapons. Her scrutinizing gaze didn’t reveal anything but his clothes were wide, perfect place for the concealed blade so her hands remained close to the strapped dagger on her belt and her posture still tense and ready for anything.

“Who are you and what business do you have being in the war room?” she demanded.

“Well, someone is a little grumpy today….” Hooded figure responded with a smirk in his voice and Indra finally recognized the man behind the disguise. “Master of spies, you have decided to honor me with your elusive attendance.” 

“You know that I would do anything for my General.” The man pulled down the black hood with his claws line hands, revealing once pretty but now scarred face.

“You say the same thing every time we meet, but sometimes you are quite reluctant to execute my orders…how is that possible?”

“Only because I care for you and the Coalition, and I think you should reconsider the matter in question.” The man’s smirk was still sticking to his lips and Indra was again reminded of his sometimes cocky but always joking nature.

In response to his words she just rolled her eyes and turn from him. He cared only for himself and she was aware of this.

“What do you want Victor, I don’t have the time to listen to your pleasantries all day.” 

“Hmm I see that, you must be when you are standing alone in the dark room, looking at the walls and…..” he stopped talking quickly, when Indra’s dark eyes focused at him with a death glare in them.

He lowered his head in fake remorse. “I am sorry General; I didn’t mean to offend you….”

“You are not, but continue anyway.”   

“My little birds informed me about several interesting news today. Two days ago a village near Ton DC was attacked, and the scouts I have sent to investigate, report that the buildings are burnt to the ground but more worryingly, no bodies could be found. They had also searched the woods around the village for survivors but…..”

“Mt. Weather” her voice was filled with rage as she connected all the facts.

“Yes, sadly it seems that our friends from the mountain had already started there hunting season.”

“How many were taken?” she asked, already afraid of the answer. “About 150, I am afraid”

The woman slowly closed her eyes. 150 people, her people, the people she should have protected. The weight that pressed on her soul was unbearable. And she can’t do anything about it. The war is brewing among the clans, the Coalition is weak and they need every last warrior against the Blood clan.

She cleared the throat and looked at Victor.  “Do you have any better news for me?”

“I am sorry but I must disappoint you Indra.” His face was grim, when he looked at her with unexpected sadness radiating from his eyes. “The birds also informed me, that king Alt has send ambassadors to the Plain Riders and more worryingly to the Ice Nation in hopes they would join an alliance with him. An alliance, which will certainly annihilate the Coalition, if we allow it to form.”

Alt really means to destroy the Coalition. Indra realized. Before, she was under the impression that he just wants to provoke Heda into a rush action against his clan and thus gaining the moral high ground among the people, which would legitimize his claim to grab absolute power.

But now he is trying to mobilize all the fighting potential, hidden in those three clans. That can mean only one thing. He is done waiting and toying around, something had force him to change the game entirely. Now Alt’s armies will strike hard and fast, destroying the clans individually before Heda could summon the Coalition army together.

But, if she is able to stop the alliance from forming altogether, Alt will be forced back to his waiting game from before, buying the Coalition precious time to win over more clans.

She understood his way of thinking; alone Blood clan is very strong, more than able to take on the entire Coalition but the problems could arise when the fighting begins; he don’t know which side would the two remaining  clans chose. The horse warriors and the numerous discipline killers with scars as evidence of their bravery and battle efficiency are both more than capable of changing the fortune of war in either side.

A silent cough disturbed her thoughts and she met the eyes of the man in front of her.

“Yes Victor?”

“General, I took the liberty of dispatching several of our assassins in the area surrounding the two clans in question, to hopefully intercept and kill the Blood clan ambassadors before they could speak with the clan leaders and with luck we won’t have to worry about any alliance forming.”

Indra allowed a barely visible smile to appear on her lips. “Master of spies, I guess the some rumors are true than, you can read people’s minds.”

“You are too nice, general.”

“I am reminded of that every day… But i wonder, what would happen if your assassins fail to eliminate their targets?”

“General, it is highly unlikely they would miss, but I always consider all the options. Even if the ambassador reaches the plains alive, the clan living there is unlikely to enter the alliance, because the old Horse king died a month ago due to sudden and mysteries sickness; a gift from my healer. And a boy of 7 years had replaced him; his biggest wishes are toys not swords… Alt didn’t know that when he send ambassadors on the road.”

“Good, this time you didn’t disappoint me Victor, but what about the Azgeda? They pose the biggest threat to us if they side with Blood clan and the ice queen knows that.”

The small man in front of her starts to move around nervously and Indra follows his every move.

“What is wrong Victor, more bad news?” her voice was steel as he met her black eyes filled with anger.  “Speak quickly if you want to live.”     

“Indra please, there is no need for anger, our little plan is…slowly coming together and…”

“Why are you so quiet than if the plan is working, I expected a lot of bragging from you.” Her voice was dangerously quiet and silky when she cut him off.

“The news that I received today aren’t good, Indra… Marcus didn’t heard nothing from the warriors, who want inside the ice palace a week ago. The streets of Alba are quiet, the opposite what is expected if the assassination succeeded.” Victor finally started talking, the smirk from before gone completely. “He also tried to enter the palace himself, but the guards were searching everyone, asking about the business they have inside and checking the every little detail. He didn’t have a chance.”

“So it’s safe to assume that Nia is still alive?”

“Yes but I don’t see how is that possible, I chose the best people I could find and as a percussion I also included a woman to be present and armed in the queen’s room. So if you counted, I send four warriors and an assassin to finish the job.” His arms high in the air, expressing  complete confusion he felt. ”You said Nia is deadly with her blades, but there is no chance in hell she would survive that, no way.”

“It doesn’t matter now; they failed and while Nia lives, Gallan won’t dare to seize power and an alliance between the Blood clan and Azgeda is only a matter of time.

The finality of those words had cut deeply into the minds of both of them. The dark room became even darker as they sink into grave silence, wondering what to do next.

//

Chapter Text

//

Healer has just finished stitching the wound on the blonde’s arm, when Val burst throe the door with his usual half-smile back on his face.

“Guard, did nobody teach you to knock before you enter?” the ageing man turns to him.

The warrior didn’t respond to his words, he just stared at him for a second and then turn to face the blue eyes, watching the interaction from the corner of the room.

Her face was emotionless, a thick mask covered the shock, fear and surely anger she felt after the events of the morning but the betrayal hurts the most the guard pondered quietly. The position of the bodies lying in her sleeping quarters told him a sad story about the events that transpired a few hours ago. 

 

And out of nowhere the memory of a little blonde girl, scared to death and crying loudly, when he first laid his eyes on her, suddenly fills his thoughts.

The day which changed everything, started as any other. The sun rose above the mountains in the distance, and its rays slowly but certainly creeping towards the wakening village. He has been up all night, counting the stars and trying not to doze off completely. A month ago, he has completed the training in the capital, and the signs of his new role were lying around the fireplace. A spear and a sword, given to him as a present from his parents.

His eyes were heavy and somewhat glued together when a loud voice erupted near him. “Come on boy, wake up. Aren’t you a guard now or your father lied?” a deafening laughter followed Val’s futile attempts to free himself from the fur wrapped tightly around his body. “Go easy boy, I need you alive not with a broken neck.” Ryder smiled again and then turned away, when a messenger stopped in front of him. A few words were exchanged but Val was too busy cleaning his with dirt covered coat to understand or care about anything being said. “Yes, you can notify the queen that I will not obey her orders… I don’t care, leave now.”

Ryder’s voice was quiet but commanding and the warrior on the horse just bowed his head and galloped thru the main gates, leaving them in the cloud of dust. “Let’s go boy… we have a lot to do today. Grab your gear and meet me at the…..” he stopped talking abruptly when people around them started pointing in the sky.

Val looked up and his heart almost stopped beating. A large ball of fire was hurling towards the ground, the flames were leaving a long trace behind the object clearly visible even in the morning light.

“What is that?” Val’s voice was almost unrecognizable when he turned to his teacher. The man opened his mouth in response but then massive explosion knocked every one of their feet, the glass in the windows shattered in million pieces, objects big and small were thrown to the ground, entire houses collapsed. The shock wave also started several fires that quickly spread from house to house, threatening to engulf entire village in a storm of fire but the chaos that followed was short lived, when firm orders from the Azgeda general were issued and executed without questions or hesitation.

“Saddle up the horses boy, we are going to find out what the hell was that.” Ryder turned to him with determination in his eyes. “And do it quickly!”

Mere minutes later, two riders were flying on their beasts towards the column of smoke in the distance. Miles were disappearing rapidly as the pair crossed the sea of grass, separating them from the crash site. Even from a far, the air was thick with the smell of burning rubber and wood. When they got closer they stopped. The destruction around them was complete. The trees broken to pieces, large sheets of metal were lying all around the clearing and in the middle there was a large crater several meters deep.

“All wright boy, listen carefully now” Ryder turned his head to the young man besides him. “First we are going to check the surroundings of the crash site. Be careful, because we don’t know what that is and it could be something from the Mountain as far as we know.” His voice was calm, filled with confidence gained during his long service as a general in Azgeda army. “And don’t try to be a hero, your time will come, don’t worry!” 

Both warriors that slowly circled the wreck, swords drawn and ready to strike, but nothing suspicious caught their attention so they slowly descended into the hole, made when the ship impacted with the ground.

Because technology was foreign to them, their eyes were carefully traveling over different screens and joysticks visible thru the gaping hole in the ship, until Ryder spotted something strapped tightly to a seat in the cabin. “Val look, someone is inside!” the astonishment surprised the younger warrior besides him, unaccustomed to hearing any emotions in the general’s voice.

“It’s a girl and a young one. No more than one or maybe two year’s old.” Older man grabbed the piece of metal, which blocked the access to the interior and moaned as he tried to move it, but the panel didn’t move an inch. “Grab the other side and pull as hard as you can, we need to free her soon because she could be hurt… “

They worked hard, but the metal stubbornly refused to move more than an inch at the time. With every pull, the breathing was deeper and the sweat begun to wet the shirts, they wore under the heavy jackets but eventually the plate gave in and buckles under the pressure of the two men.

A sign of relief escapes the general’s mouth. “Finally….now you will go in and you will free the girl.” The younger warrior nodded and took the leather jacket of his shoulders. The interior of the capsule was dark and crammed with different packages and boxes lying all around the small place. A special smell was hovering in the air, but Val couldn’t recognize it as hard as he tried.

Several minutes passed without any sound from the inside and Ryder was becoming more and more   nervous. “Come on boy, she doesn’t have all day, she could be bleeding or something…” his student didn’t hear him or he just ignored his words. “Hurry up you fool!” the anger in him was growing when suddenly a small blonde head emerged in the opening  they created with so much trouble and the rest of body soon followed, supported by the strong hands of his young companion. “She is unconscious, probably because of the impact or something must have hit her head during the flight, but besides that she is fine, no broken bones nor other wounds so….”

“I wonder, why was your simple task so time consuming.” Ryder cut off his report abruptly, still pissed off over the ignorance of the young warrior.

“I forgot to take my knife with me….so I needed to find something sharp inside to free her.” freshly trained warrior admitted  with a heavy heart.

“You did what?!” unpleasant surprise was clearly heard in the general’s voice when his eyes met the ones of his young companion. “Wright boy, I will let this thing go away if you promise that you will start using your head. Do you understand me?” 

A quick and relieved bow followed his words.

“Now listen to me carefully, I won’t repeat myself. You will take the girl to my tent, but nobody is allowed to know from where she came from and you must conceal her, when you enter the village. Her life depends on that…”    

“I don’t understand why there is a need for such secrecy; you will have to let her out of the tent someday…”

“What did you promised me a minute ago?” Ryder sighed with desperation as he looked into the confused face next to him. “You said you will use your head once in a while to think, not only to bash things with it.”

“Now think! From where did she came from?”

“She came from the sky?” Val’s voice was still confused, because he didn’t know where all this is leading.   

“Yes and it’s a safe bet she wasn’t the only one up there.” General’s fingers gently removed the blonde, almost gold hair from the Clarke’s pale forehead. “And if Nia ever finds out about that girl, from where she came from she is dead and the entire village with her…. so, if someone ask us from where the girl came from, we will say that she was found on the perimeter of the village. Can I trust you that you will keep the secret and if the time comes, that you will protect her?

“Yes, you can.” Young warrior kneeled down in front of his general “I swear on my honor and on the honor of my clan, I will protect and give my life for this girl.”

“Good, I knew you have a big heart in you.” Older man smiled as if a big burden has been lifted from his shoulders and a sense of pride engulfed him, when he realized he choose the right man from the barracks in Polis. “Take the girl and do exactly as I told you before. When she wakes up, give her water and some food because she must recover quickly. When I return, I will start with her training immediately as her life is now in danger and will be until her death; I fear somebody has chosen a difficult path for her…”

He could see the surprise in Val’s eyes. “Where are you going and why are you leaving me to take care of her, I am a warrior not a mother!”

“You will do just fine son, I am sure.” General smiled at the boy “I have to resolve some problems in Alba and I will return as swiftly as possible, but remember, trust nobody with the story of what we have found here.”

“What about the queen’s messenger from the morning, can i tell him the news in case he returns and you are still absent, I am sure he would keep a secret if I ask him nicely.”  

Ryder abruptly turns to face the young warrior. He didn’t overheard the sarcasm in his voice but still he studied his face for a long moment.

The boy is smart, event too smart for his own good, Ryder realized, but someday such a behavior will cost him dearly. Nia’s words are not to be taken lightly, especially when she feels threatened or challenged.

“I have a feeling you won’t have much visitors during my absence, but I think you know what to do in case someone does show up.” his face was serious but the eyes were sparking with barely contained humor.

He barely covered several feet when the loudest, the most ear-piercing sound he ever had the misfortune to hear, started echoing throe the forests and plains; and surely frightening every living beasts around them to the death. Along with the laud crying and screaming, a quieter voice was also heard, desperately trying to calm the little girl down but with apparently little success because the young warrior suddenly howls in pain. “You little monster, you hit me in the head!”

“Watch it Val, apparently someday she will become a fierce and deadly warrior!” he broke into an uncontrollable laughter as he finally enter the forest around the clearing.

It seems the general could saw into the future, now much older Val thought as the memory of that distant morning slowly vanished from his head. He would be so proud if he could see her now, aura of strength surrounding her, even when she is injured and emotionally scared.

Many of the people in their village expressed doubt and even mocked the skinny blonde as she began her training under the Ryder’s watchful eyes; weak limbs and her incomprehension of the language they spoke, didn’t inspire much hope in them, but the girl soon showed her true talent with first one and later with two blades; a skill most warriors never master.

And now she sits on the throne, as a queen of Azgeda, quite an achievement for someone who literally fell from the sky.

 

The room was wrapped in silence, only weak chatter coming throe the open windows could be heard as the inhabitants of Alba started their day, happily oblivious to the bloody events which unfolded in the palace this morning.

The old healer slowly washed the needle which he used to close the wounds on Clarke’s body in the bowl, filled with once fresh but now in ominous red colored water. His hands moved with precision and accuracy, unusual for man of his age. “My queen” he cleared his throat loudly “all of your wounds sustained this morning are sewn together, but I would advised that you don’t strain your body to much, due to the loss of blood you sustained.”   

“I don’t understand, I have a cut on my arm and on the shoulder, I couldn’t have lost a lot of blood.”

The healer’s voice became almost annoyed when he slowly explained “My queen, there are important veins located in the arm and you are lucky that you didn’t bleed out as one was severed quite badly…”

“So I would recommend you that you rest, and also try to eat and drink that weakness, lightheadedness and fatigue will end sooner. “

He turned around to face the blonde, with his small bag of instruments already tightly pressed to his chest.

Clarke’s voice was quiet, the exhaustion was clearly heard but her lips still curved upwards into a brittle smile. “Thank you healer, for answering the call so quickly. I owe you a favor.”

“My queen.” His eyes widen in surprise over the words said. “You owe me nothing, my son died in the Nia’s gold mines as a punishment for my words to her…” his voice was soft but filled with emotions and memories. “When she gave that order, nobody opposed her, nobody cared over fate the old man’s son, and her advisers just look at me with pity in their eyes…”

A single teardrop escaped down his cheek when he looked the blonde in the eyes. “Later, after I learned what happened to him down in darkness of the mine, I thought the pain would break me; shatter me as he was my only son, my only ray of light here in the cold of the north.”

For some time the only sounds in the room were coming from the old man as he tried to swallow the tears and sadness.

“In the long, lonely winter nights that fallowed” he finally continue “when I spend the hours looking throe the window, cursing myself for being so selfish, that i had never stopped to think what my words might do to others; I found a burning desire to avenge my flesh and blood raging inside of me, forcing me to act, to do something, but I soon discovered that I don’t possess the bravery nor the skill to accomplish that goal. And yet the fate blessed me with revenge; as I discovered on a morning similar to this, a year ago when an Azgeda general was found guilty of high treason against the Queen and swiftly executed in the throne room in front of hundreds of lieutenants, guards, advisors and aristocracy of which most of them knew he is innocent and yet none of those people, who claim to serve and protect the clan didn’t do nothing.”

Healer’s tired eyes were glued to the blue pools watching him from the corner of the room. “The frustration in me grew as the guards removed the Ryder’s lifeless body from the room, but I didn’t have the nerves to do what’s right and I will be ashamed of that fact for the rest of my life.”

“Please….i didn’t know about your son, I am so…” the blonde started quietly but she was cut off abruptly.

“And instead of me or any other mighty warriors present that day only a young girl had the courage to question the ice Queen’s actions…and then later avenge the deaths of her father and many more people including my son who lost their life because of her bloodlust and cruelty; this is the reason why you owe nothing to me….my Queen.”

The man slowly bowed his head and exited the room quietly without any more words.

The silence in the room was deafening as the words said by the old man slowly sunken into the blonde’s tired mind. A single tear slid down from her blue eyes, followed by another one, and another one, until soon a steady stream of salty tears flowed its way down her pale cheek releasing the sadness and sorrow that has been held inside of her for all this time but still she did not make a sound. She covered her round face with shaking hands as if she was trying to deny or hide her weakness, but the desperate sobbing soon escaped that last barrier she erected.

Val swiftly removed the thick coat and the armor below it, dropping it to the ground. He could almost fell the pain that was radiating from the girl as he carefully approached her and wrapped his arms around her warm but still sobbing body. Blonde first tried to pull away but his strong, protective arms didn’t move an inch so she gave up and accepted his comforting embrace.

“Clarke….you are safe now…nobody will hurt you I promise…” he whispered to her, thinking about the events from the morning.

“I….I….can’t do this anymore.” blonde cried out in between the sobs. “I didn’t want any of this; I don’t want to bear the responsibility….hell, i couldn’t even save my own father and now I am expected to lead the clan, protect its people and insure our freedom despite numerous attempts to squeeze us into the Coalition….”

“Shhhh Clarke don’t do this to yourself….your father saw the strength and wisdom in you and he bellied in you…as do i…”

“But Val, I feel so alone… I can’t talk to no one without fear that he would use my words against me or try to seize power and now someone is trying to kill me…I don’t belong here, I never did……”

“You speak the truth, as harsh as it sounds your home was among the stars, you were born there but you were also send down for a reason. You did so many good things in a single year which Nia never did in her entire reign.”

Val’s voice stiffens a little when he mentions the former ice Queen but the tone of his voice quickly returns to his regular deep smooth growl. “And remember my little sister, when you want to talk about anything you just have to give an order. I am your personal guard and as such I must obey every command you give me, remember?”

The blonde looked up and weakly smiled over the sarcastic tone in his voice. She remembered well how much Val had hated every second when she was in charge years back when she barely begun her training and he was a fresh warrior hand pick by Ryder himself from the Polis barracks.

Val’s hands cupped her pale face and wiped a tear which still persisted on it with his thumb. “Seriously Clarke, don’t lock your feelings inside when you are hurt, find me and we will talk. We are some sort of a family and we must work together. I made a promise to the general that I will help you and I intend to keep it.”   

“Thank you Val….it means a lot to me….to have someone which I can trust in this…. snake nest.” She looked at him with sadness written all over the face.

“Don’t worry my princess; someday you will meet a person who will rock your world and erase that sad grin from your face, but until that day your big brother will be watching over you….i promise “

The man winked and smiled broadly, exposing all of his shiny teeth and waved her goodbye, his hands were grabbing the armor and the coat from the ground and he followed the path the healer took before him.

//

 

 

Chapter Text

So dear reader, we meet again after a long time...

This hiatus was really sudden, but i somehow lost the motivation for writing it and i am sorry for that. Also for all the kind words you left for me and they went unanswered for so long.
So now you are probably wondering what is the point of this chapter. And the answer is that i have a urge to write so i think i will pick up this old thing and give it another shot.
Also a possible ASoIaF fic is being planed, but this is a far shot, because i fear i dont have the balls for writing 2 fics at the same time...so sorry heh

And before i forget, your ideas are welcome, so dont be shy.

So i guess you will hear from me, when the next chapter is written... and people stay home if you can, and stay healthy... this virus is no joke and every sick person is one to many.

Winter43