It has been 25 years of hell. 25 years of suffering. 25 years of waiting.
I have been taken into the Zopellon training and given the title Princess General. I have been taught of their ways, their culture, their methods of killing. They are an empire which travels the stars to find new worlds to subjugate and destroy, to control and manipulate to their inky, oily wishes. If they cannot conquer a world, they will blast it to a heathen wasteland – that is how highly advanced their weaponry has become. They only exist to take and to drain. From these teachings and insights, I have learned them all and learned them well.
Some of the higher Zopellon council members have raised concern—no, protest regarding me. “Why are you taking her in, an outsider? She will raise a rebellion! She will betray us!” They did not know about the deal the emperor made with me.
My younger sister, Ara, has been made Imperial Princess, a flower of the empire. She has been raised away from the eyes of the conquered populace, and most of the Zopellon forces. She has been given all the comforts of life, and treated as the princess she is. Her smiles, her laughter, her innocence and gentle personality would lighten anyone’s day.
In short, she was a hostage. A beautiful bird singing in her golden cage.
And so I become one of them, a Zopellon lackey. Any move to indicate treachery or betrayal, and they will kill her. The only last member of my family will be gone, and that I cannot bear. Each day, after I go and scrape the Zopellon’s boots with my tongue, I go to her side. Even for a few minutes, she is the light into the shadows that have become my life. She is the breeze that wafts into my hell. Her smile is all it takes to relieve my soul. Even for only a few minutes.
But 25 years is a long time. Like any creature of habit, things become routine. Tension will always be there, but attention can be redirected. 25 years is a long time to study their habits, their ways, their lives. I have learned them all and learned them well.
I have protected my baby sister just as my mother commanded. Soon, I will break the golden cage and that will be the start in the song of freedom for my people. And I am ready to pay the price.