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The princess who chased the chaos away (tribal fairytale)

This tribal fairytale is dedicated to the Mall Rats. Thank you for letting me join, thank you for keeping the dream alive :wink:

@Amber @Ash @Bray @Danni @Jack @Lottie @MallRatMatt @Patsy @Prometheus @Trudy (I know there are some others, but we haven’t come across till now…)

Character-list:

In town:

Princess Brady : the princess discovers the truth on her eighteenth birthday and has to decide for her own life

The guardian : The priest wants to full-fill his own will, claiming still to hear ZOOT

Master Luke : the princess’ teacher

Tina(Martina) : the princess’ maid

Sword : the princess’ bodyguard

several Chosen and servants

In the woods:

Bray and Amber : leaders of the on going rebellion against the Chosen

Hawk : closest friend to Bray and Amber, leader of the GAIANS

Gaia : medicine woman of the GAIANS, Hawks wife

Kilian : Brays and Amber first born son, now 16

Faith : sister of Kilian, Brays and Ambers daughter, now 12

Quinn : Brays and Ambers second son, brother to Kilian and Faith. Only six months old

Nathan : adopted son of Bray and Amber, adopted brother to Kilian, Faith and Quinn, now 18

Orion : son of Hawk and Gaia, Kilians love

Lex : friend of Bray and Amber, Mall Rat, leader of the security for the children

Tai-San : his wife, good friend of Gaia, medicine woman too

Mai-Lan : their daughter, now 13

Ryan : Mall Rat, guard

Salene : Mall Rat, teacher , his wife

Bastian : their son, now 14

May : Mall Rat, spy in the city

KC : Mall Rat, spy in the city

Pride : GAIAN, teacher for nature

Mariana : his wife

Archie and Rory: their mixed twins, now 6

Alice : Mall Rat, lives on her old farm, food resources

Scott: her husband :wink:

Matthew : called Matt, their 13 year old son

Cloe : Mall Rat, lives on the farm too, pregnant

Phil : her husband

Patsy : their first born child, 5 years

Jack: Mall Rat, chief of intercommunication between the rebel outposts.

Ellie : Mall Rat, his wife , teacher, chronist of the rebellion

Joel : their son, now 8

Kylie : their daughter, now 6

several other ECOS

The princess who chased the chaos away

Once upon a time – for that is how a good fairytale starts – lived a princess in a world very much like ours. To the same time this world was as different from that you and me grew up in, as you are able to imagine.

This princess didn’t live in an impressive castle, she didn’t wear a crown, she wasn’t even born to a king or a queen. No, her parents had been lost young people, trying to survive in a world after all adults had died because of an aggressive virus. The princess’ father had been something like a tyrant about the city he lived in. He had collected strong people around him, using them as warriors to suppress the other youths of town. Her mother was the girl he loved in school. One fateful night , after a ball – just like a fairytale would like you to dream of - had been enough to give live to the princess.

Trudy – that was the name of her mother – couldn’t stand the human her boyfriend had become and ran away, searching help in the older brother of the self-crowned king of the city. Together they had found shelter within a group of mixed youths. The princess had been born in the home of the group that called themselves Mall Rats later on. They called themselves like that, for their home was an old shopping mall.

When the girl had been only a few days old her father had followed his brothers pleads one night to meet her mother within the mall. Her father had first doubted, but then he had held her. But they had been discovered and in a fight – the habitants of the mall all feared her father – it happened that her father died.

Given that she was so small then, she had never missed him. All members of the tribe helped her mother in caring for her. But one day a priest appeared, him and his followers believed her father to be a god.

It didn’t take long till the city was taken over by them. The baby girl had become the middle point of their religious cult. The divine child should be their future queen. That was why the girl was a princess. Her mother had one day, when the girl was still a baby, already been called high up into heaven to be reunited with her father. The priest told her later, she had to grow up without her parents to become strong for the future. To become a warrior queen.

Her uncle had denied joining in right at once and ever since he was in a rebellion against the CHOSEN and her people. Him, his wife and the rest of the Mall Rats denied her father being a god. The priest – called the Guardian – had managed to hold the mall and the city for sixteen years now. Her uncle held reign about the surrounding woods. His children about to follow in their fathers footsteps.

Our fairytale starts on the day of the eighteenth birthday of the princess :

While the sun was slowly raising into the blue sky the princess woke up in her room. She stretched her arms above her head with a yawn. Her long brown hair fell down in cascading waves over her back. Golden braids weaved in by her maid sparkled in the sunlight, little pearls and crystals shimmered softly in it. Her brown eyes fell at once at the magnificent robe dress that waited to be worn for her coronation today. At once she hopped out of the bed, dancing through the room. “I am an adult…no commands more for me! YAY!” She wriggled her hips in a way that would let the Guardian tell her off at once. The priest was ultra conservative and didn’t approve of any fun at all. But soon this would be her kingdom and he would have to step back and accept that the queen approved of fun very much.

Her door opened and her maid walked in, carrying a tray with her breakfast. “Good morning princess…” She bowed a little. “And all the best for your special birthday!” “Oh come in Tina and let the stiffness outside…” The princess pulled her in, took the tray from her and whirled around with her. The maid laughed “Princess…you are quiet happy I see…” “Why do you call me princess? The door is closed!” When alone her maid called her by her birth name. More being a friend to her then a servant. Tina was one of the first ‘born’ Chosen and therefore had a name that originated in her father birth name. But the girl disliked Martina, something the princess could understand and so she was mostly called Tina. “It is not appropriate any more now…you’re eighteen…” “Oh please Tina…you’re only a bit younger then me…please…if you start to be stiff and absolute correct all the time…” She took her maids hands. “Please…say you still are my friend! Not only an admiring servant!?” “I…princess…if any one hears me…calling you your name…” “What should happen?” “The guardian…” Setting on a snobbish face the young queen- to- be , looked at her. “In some hours time I make the rules here. My word will be the law! And if I want my maid to call me my name…” Tina smiled, making a curtsey “As you wish your majesty…so…happy birthday Brady…”

Meanwhile in the woods life had already started for the young people close the age of the princess. Their life was way different to hers. No servants. None bowing them. Everyone had chores, event he children had duties. But different then in the mall, here everywhere was laughter, loud voices, sometimes discussions.

A young girl with Zulu knots in which bopped many colourful feathers, sneaked up to the man who sat in silence on the river. His eyes were closed, his breathing relaxed. She knew he probably was trying to mediate, having some moments alone. But she loved so much to play tricks on him.

The man grinned, feeling the moving behind him. When the girl was close lifting her hands up, holding a cup of water, he grabbed her arms and threw her over him, right into his arms. She giggled. “DAAAD! Hihi…let go!” She wriggled under his tickling fingers. “No complaints…you wanted to bath me…you deserve some good tickling…” “Daddy…daddy let me go!” “No use for the ‘daddy’ voice…I am not falling for your little girl charm any more…” She shrieked with laughter, till there was a shout from their hut. Both jumped up at once, both the same guarded expression on the face. But it was only his wife shouting at their older sons.

“KILIAN! NATHAN! Stop it now! STOP THAT OR YOU’LL FACE YOUR FATHER!” The two young men held each other in a headlock, each trying to win about the other. “Ohoh!” The girl looked wide eyed, just like her father. His sons were usually the best of friends, always sticking off for each other. People around looked confused at the fighting guys too. “LIAN! Get off him!” Another guy tried to pull them apart, but seemed not to manage to grab them for real. The leader of the rebellion shook his head short to get clear in a way and ran then up. He grabbed each into the neck “HEY! HEY STOP IT NOW YOU TWO BESERKS!” He knocked their head to each other, what made both recoil with a groan.

“OUCH Daaaad!” “Yeah OUCH is all you deserve…what the hell got into you!?” Angry he looked at the older guy. “NATHAN?” “You tell him Kilian or should I?” “There is nothing…dad…just brothers quarrel…” “Brothers quarrel? Don’t give me such a lousy explanation! My sons brawling around! Nathan…you tell me NOW!” “He wanted to go…look! He wears his bow and all of it…he wanted to go into the city! Should I have let him?” The leader looked at his other son. Their eyes were almost the same. “Kilian? Say something!” “I…it it not…I wasn’t…” “So you say Nathan is lying?” Kilian looked at his brother, who looked earnestly back. They were only two years apart and trusted each other deeply. Nathan would never lie about Kilian and Kilian wouldn’t lie about him, even if he knew he would make his father beyond angry with telling him that Nathan told the truth.

The leader looked from one another, in their eyes he saw that none wanted the other to get into trouble with him. And besides his anger now, it warmed him from head to toe. It wasn’t so very normal that they were so close. Nathan with his dark long hair, dark eyes and tanned skin, Kilian looking so much like the leader himself with brown hair and the ocean eyes. The brothers looking so different had reason in that Nathan wasn’t the biological child of the couple, but an orphan from Maori decent. The leader had found him one day in the wood. No one knew what happened to his family, but they all assumed they had been Chosen victims. His own son had been only half a year then, but his wife and him had fallen in love with the cute little toddler at once and raised him like their own from then on.

“Okay…yes okay…so I was planning to go into the city…” “KILIAN!” His mother looked shocked at him. “Don’t start even dad…I know you want to go there too…it’s her coronation…they will all be out and about…it will be the perfect opportunity to do it…” The leader grabbed his sons arms hard. “What for? To shoot the guardian? With like a billions of guards? What if you hit her? What if you hit someone innocent?” “Why do you care if I hit her? She is their princess! She will be called their queen from today on! She was raised from them dad! Brady is lost to us…we can’t go on forever like this…do you want my little brother to grow up in constant fights too? Brady doesn’t care about us…why should we care for her?” His eyes going small the leader took away the bow from his son’s shoulder. “You’ve got no idea at all…you were lucky having a loving family, caring parents…you’ve got so much more then she ever had. Are you asking me to go and murder my own niece? Could you live with the knowledge your father murdered a girl who had no own doing to the use she was put to? Brady was never free to chose. I failed to get her into safety. I know you don’t understand that now…but it is not only killing the Guardian or her. If they are gone that doesn’t mean the Chosen fall at once. There is more to changing the world then just doing one little thing. If the leaders of the Chosen are killed or whatever…do you think all those who are brainwashed, those who even grown up with their ideology like the children born in the last sixteen years…just are normal then? There will be a new vacuum, asking someone to step in again…you’re sixteen years old…” “AS OLD AS YOU WERE WHEN YOU BECAME THE LEADER AND SEARCHED THE ANTIDOTE!” “YES AND I WAS JUST SUCH A SMALL MINDED DREAMER LIKE YOU ARE NOW! THINKING I COULD SAVE THE WORLD! IF I WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE THE LEADER I AM NOW. THE CHOSEN WOULD HAVE NEVER COME SO FAR! I DIDN’T ACT THE RIGHT WAY. IF I WOULD HAVE TAKEN THE HARD DECISION AND SAVED TRUDY AND BRADY INSTEAD OF LEX…” Kilian stepped back from his father, his eyes full of hurt.

“Bray…” his wife touched his arm and the leader saw that his old comrade Lex was looking at him from the side. The one held up his hands “No bad feelings…” Bray breathed one time. “Lian…” he used his sons nickname. He grabbed him on the shoulders “I am…sorry. Only…only…doing such a act…going and plan to kill someone…you’re my beloved son…should I watch you become an angry violent man? Someone who easily kills? Would you want me to be such a man, for real?” Kilian shook his head. “No…but…but I heard you and mom tonight…you spoke about it…and so…so…” The leader sighed. “Dear me…we were talking theoretical about our options…your mom is my best friend, my fiercest critic, my best adviser. I speak about just everything with her.” “But it sounded like…” “So you wanted…to do it yourself so I wouldn’t do it?” His son shrugged helpless. “I know you would never be able to live with it…I want my siblings to have a full hearted man for a dad. Not one with a broken heart…” Kilian gasped when his father hugged him tightly. “You don’t have to fight my fights…” He grabbed his chin and held it strongly, looking intently in the young man’s eyes. “There is a meeting in two days. We will indeed soon strike in a way. I guess there will be changes with Brady taking reign. It might be our real chance to get hold over the city again. But NOT today. Today everyone will expect us…today there will be more guard then ever. Nathan and you…you will join the meeting then…” “Me too?” At once his son looked like he had always done as little boy.

Nathan would be welcomed into the meeting for he had turned eighteen just a week ago. But usually no one under eighteen was allowed in battle tactic talks. “Yes…you remembered me that doing nothing…sitting back and waiting…just doesn’t run in your blood. We should probably more look at a personality alone then on the simple age. Your mother and me had a lot of responsibility in your age too. Why shouldn’t you be able to carry some more? I trust you to take the right decisions! And after all…I was only told today what a superb fighter and chaser you are…” Kilian beamed and looked then at his mother. “And…you mom?” “I trust your father to have an eye on you…so I will agree…” “GREAT!” He hugged both his parents and then just hugged Nathan tightly “Sorry man…” “It’s okay…” Nathan hugged him back. “It is what big brothers do…look out for the younger ones…”

“Yes and because of that you both…you now look after your sister and your baby brother so that your father and me can have finally some lunch!” Their mother told them giving them a look that clearly told them to better not argue.

“I really think it is better when he can be in the rebellion for real…” He told her silently, taking her hand. Their sons had sat down with Faith and their baby brother Quinn – safely tucked in a little basket- on one of the cooking fires. “I know…he’s got a hot heart…” “Hmm…I fear he has some of the impatience my brother had…” He embraced her tightly “Nothing will happen to our boys…they are a good team…” “Hmmm…oh I can understand him so good Bray…I wish we could get Brady out of there…I am scared that when she takes over for real…she will be too far in the darkness to reach her ever again…and that would mean to fail Trudy…” He held his wife when she hid her face on his chest. “I know…we have to hope…”

In the mall the princess sat , dressed up in her beautiful dress robe, her hair curled up in big waves. Her maid had fashioned up a beautiful pattern of shimmering crystals around her eyes. “Your majesty…” a blue haired man bowed deeply to her. “Master Luke…last check if I am ready?” The master smiled warmly. “No…I know you are prepared. I only want to wish you happy birthday and…” He sat down, the smile vanishing from his lips he grabbed her hands. “Princess…what I tell you now…you must never let any one here know I told you. Not even the Guardian…” “Excuse me?” “Brady…” the master never used her name to her, he always showed the deepest respect to her title. It intrigued her that he spoke so differently now. “I will listen…” she told him and the man took a deep breath. “Your mother…what the guardian told you…the official story about her being called to join your father to sit beside him on a throne…” “Yes?” “It is a lie Brady. I know that for I was there. Back when we started here in the mall. Your mother …she never believed in ZOOT being a god. The only reason she stayed with the CHOSEN was you. With time…she was brainwashed. But even then she never was just a follower. She was fierce and tried to get into a better position. She tried everything to ensure you a safe status. A girl named Tai-San…one of the Mall Rats who were held captive here in that time, tried to charm up the Guardian to that time. Your mother tried to work against it, tried to open the Guardians eyes. But he was just angry and ordered her to be executed. I…I couldn’t watch this happening. He had told us she was a holy woman…he had told us how she had been the one in the mighty ones heart…and she was your mother. I couldn’t accept that a mother should be burnt…I contacted the rebels…your uncle came and tried to get you both away…but I couldn’t give you up…I only disagreed to let your mother be executed, but not with you being our gods daughter. Your mother wouldn’t leave. She told your uncle to leave and when he didn’t budge…she even sent guards after him…she went silently back to her room…I left her with you…let her held you all through the night. I suffered a hard punishment for the Guardian because of that later. The next day…your mother…your mother faced death. She was burnt on a pire, just like the Guardian had wanted to burn your uncle months before. Your uncle was there hidden beneath some rocks, there were too many guards and he was all alone. I guess none of the other rebels really saw a reason to rescue the supreme mother who had betrayed them after all. After that …I met him. He made me swear I would protect you the best I could. And even when he despised the whole Chosen idea, he trusted me with your life. And I think I did well…”

“Why…why do you…? You’re lying!” She flared up, her eyes full of anger. “HOW DARE YOU LYING TO YOUR PRINCESS? TO YOUR FUTURE QUEEN?” He held her gaze when she slapped him hard. “You’ve got your mothers temperament…” he smiled ruefully. “But I am not lying princess…your mother wasn’t called to your fathers side…” “Are you really telling me…all those stories…everything the Guardian says…are lies? That my father…never speaks to him?” “Brady…think for real…if ZOOT would be a god speaking to the guardian…why wouldn’t he speak to you? You his own flesh and blood?” “So you literally come telling me that all I ever believed is a lie…that you never believed in the CHOSEN…that you are a traitor to the course?” Her face was a mask of ice, but her eyes spread with a fury that the master knew would be able to burn the whole city down.

The young woman wasn’t aware that she possessed the same charisma her father and uncle had. Her uncle had always been leaded by light, while her father had turned to darkness. The princess own path was undecided still. Kneeling down to her he took her hands. “My princess…I stayed for your sake…I was disenchanted right the moment your mother faced death…I swore to her and to your uncle I would play my role and I did. I saw you grow up in a strong minded woman. You already take your own decisions. There are things you want to change…you are my hope that the whole CHOSEN cult can change indeed in some decent way. If you become the good queen you are able to be…you can unite the different sides…together with your uncle and cousins you can lead all of us in an era of true wealth and peace…you have to know the truth. You have to see the Guardian as the mislead person he is. A person who has no problem with killing off people just for they have a different sight on life.” “Leave me now…” She whispered, pulling her hands from his. “Princess?” “LEAVE!” She screamed and smashed the door into his face after pushing him out. With a sob she fell down into the big throne like chair.

“Princess? Brady? I move something under your door…please…read and dispose it afterwards? It is all I ask you too…please…” He put the envelope through, hoping he hadn’t lost the young woman.

Full of sorrow the master made his way from the princess room. “Luke?” “Guardian?” “Where you in Brady’s room? Didn’t I say she has to be in silence before the ceremony?” “Yes you did…and the princess follows it. I only had to check a last time if she is able to recite her oath…” “Ah yes…good thinking. Everything should be perfect today…” The Guardian nestled on his own collar. He wore a golden coat and dress. All in all the mighty priest. “Luke…the princess…she is intelligent or?” “Yes…she is as well educated as we are able to ensure in our world…” “I mean intelligence…not knowledge…I mean she is able to realise necessary measures…she is able to use her intelligence above her heart?” “I…I guess so…?!” “Good…she can control herself better then her mother could?” “In a way…she…why you ask that? There will be no need for her to control herself too much…she will be the queen. She makes the rules. If anyone steps out of line he or she will face wrath. There won’t be tantrums from her because she is the one making the laws…” “In a way…yes. But a wife throwing tantrums…you know…that’s no pleasure for a husband…” “Hus-husband?” Confused the master stared at his leader.

“Luke I just had a talk with the mighty one…he thinks his daughter needs a man on her side…you know…the balance of male and female…ying and yang. He knows his daughter feels pity with people, what is okay when living in peace. But we mustn’t forget the rebels are still active. There needs to be hard hand too…” “But…but who…I mean…what man would be worth…?” “It was a surprise for me too…but the mighty one choose one…” With a bad feeling the master asked silently. “Who?” “Do you really need to ask that?” Master Luke swallowed. “But…you…you are sworn to be abstinent!” “Indeed…that is why my priesthood will end today. For of course the princess and me will have the duty to continue with holy bloodline. You will then rise up and take over from me…” “ME?!” “Yes you…who would be more able? I trust you…she trusts you…your first official act will be to lead our wedding…so you better prepare yourself like I do now…”

Unable to move the master stared after him. Just when he had thought the dark times were ending, it seemed to become even darker. Balling his fist he knew he couldn’t let that happen. He rushed out, with only and hour left he hurried through the streets trying to find the spies.

Unknowing all of that the princess sat in her room. Her tears had dried for now while she looked through the only things she had left from her parents. A hat with goggles her father had worn in his days of ZOOT and a piece of the supreme mother robe of her mother Trudy. Nothing more. No memories for real. She took hold of the envelope. She could just and simple threw it away, but then again she was longing for some hold. There were two sheets of paper. One looked like torn out hastily from an old book. The backside was written on.

My beloved baby,

if you read this letter Luke has held the promise he gave me. You will be eighteen now. Happy

birthday my sweetheart. I know the story he told you will probably have shaken your world. Believe me I know about that. When your grandparents died and I was left alone, pregnant in that new terrible world, my world was shattered around me. I struggled hard, but after a while…when I had get used to being a mother…you became all that is good to me. Because of you I lived with the Chosen, I betrayed my tribe, your uncle who has always been so good to us…only to see you again. I didn’t always good things…but I did them out of love to you. I sacrificed my soul for you and I don’t regret it a moment. I couldn’t just leave with your uncle and leave you behind. I had to take matters with Luke. I had to make him promise. I had to write this letter to you. I had to hold you a last long night.

Brady you must be strong, you must be stronger then I ever was. Don’t let yourself be blinded by promises of power. Look behind it. See the humans sufferings. I can’t give you a real advice, unknowing how the world will really be. I also hope your uncle might succeed and you never grow up within the Chosen…but for the possibility that this wish doesn’t come true…listen to your heart. Follow it even if the path seems to hard to take. And trust your uncle…no matter what the Guardian told you for lies about Bray…he is the one person in this world who really knew your father and who really loved him…

I am sorry my girl…so sorry for all of it. But be sure…you are the best in my life. I love you and will watch you all your life…

I wish I could hold you in my arms forever…but instead…I have to let you go and hope it will turn out good for you in the end. I will be the wind that dances around you, I will be in the sunlight that struggles your skin, I will be in the rain drops that clean away the dust of a long day. I will be with you where-ever life takes you my girl.

With love, mom*

The princess sobbed, pressing the letter to herself. But she had awareness that her time was running up and stroke the tears away to unfold the second sheet. That paper looked newer, cleaner.

*Dear Brady,

I hope that letter reaches you. The last sixteen years there hasn’t been anything I regretted more then not being able to free you out of the prison you live in. My hope is now that you will change the Chosen. Luke ensured me you are of different stuff then the Guardian thinks. Your father would have never let himself be ruled by that maniac. ZOOT was a warrior, he could be really cruel. But he was open about it. He was honest. He had honour. Not like that man who tries to tell the world my dead brother talks to him. You have to realise…that way he brushes off all his own cruelty. He apologizes kind of for being cruel, by telling the world he only does what ZOOT tells him. He never takes the responsibility for his own decisions.

Please Brady…I know it must be scary to face a change. I know you will ask yourself why you should trust me more then the man who raised you in a way. I only can say…even when my own life has been full of love from my own family the last years…even when we were mostly truly happy…there always came those moments…when I thought of my little niece …and then I wanted to run and tore the mall apart, getting you into safety. But you must know now…there is another reason why you had to stay in the mall…but that is something to tell you face to face I guess.

I will be there. We will have peace if you only want it. And your family will greet you with open arms. I loved your father, I loved your mother and I love you. No matter that we do not know each other for real. Take care my beloved niece…

With hope, your uncle Bray*

Inside were battered old photographies. One of two young boys, a caption said. “Your father and me when we were ten and eight” another showed a teenage couple, dressed up fine. “Your father and your mother on the night of the school dance” and one pale Polaroid, obviously don with one of those left over vehicles of the old world. It showed a family. “Our – your family-” She stared at the picture of a good looking couple, blazing with happiness, two young man aside them, a teenage girl

and a new born baby. “Can I really meet you all? In peace? Can we be a family?” She stroke over the picture, her heart yearning at once to meet them. How often had she wondered about it. Why her family wasn’t beside her. Why her uncle denied her fathers reign. The Guardian had always told her that Bray had stolen her mother in the first place, that he had held her captured and the Chosen had to free her. But those letters now…?

Well the more reason she had now to become queen. Then she would be able to find out everything. Like Luke had told her she burnt the letters up, but stuck the pictures into her little bag. Then she refreshed herself and right in time left her room. It would be now some praying asked of her before she would be called to the coronation stage.

The hooded woman breathed with relief when she found her male comrade in one of the bars on the harbour. “KC!” she hissed what made him follow her into a dark corner. “May…what’s the matter? Missed me?” He gave her a charming smile, but the woman only rolled her eyes. “How often do we have to play that little guy? You and me? Not gonna happen!” “Hate to break it to you…but it already happened.” “We were both drunk…that doesn’t really count…” “May…to ME it means something…and I know you feel more for me too!” He was quiet confident, but he could be, handsome as he had turned out to be. “I am still too old to be with you!” “That was maybe of interest when I was thirteen and you sixteen…but now? You’re thirty- two and I am twenty – nine…no one will be saying anything to that!” Choosing to ignore his logic the female spy looked short around “Listen…this is about Brady…” “What’s with her? Do you want to give her a present or what?!” “I can’t understand how you can be so hard about her! She was a baby when she got in their hands…YOU acted the freaking oracle!” “That’s my point…I ACTED…she IS their lovely princess…” “Well…the lovely princess won’t have such a lovely prince I fear…” “What do you mean?” “Luke just told me…the Guardian plans to marry her!” “He what? Damn it…that will do it for Bray…that will mean war!” “Yes…Luke pleaded with me…but I told him I won’t be able to alarm them now…not on such short notice…you don’t know if any of the rebels runs around?” “Not that I would be aware…Bray permitted them to come to the city today…and right he was. Way too many guards!” “Then we can only hope on a wonder…” “Luckily that is my second name!”

The spies turned their heads, staring right at the rebellion leaders son. “Kilian?!” “You idiot!”

“NATHAN?!” the three shouted, each then covering their mouth. The older guy stepped closer, pulling down his hood. He grabbed his younger brothers cape “I know you better then anyone else…saying something about going to hunt…ts…good I followed you! You’ll come back with me now and if we are lucky our parents don’t notice anything!” “But Nathan! I can’t let that happen…Brady is only eighteen…that man is…what…thirty four?!” “Suddenly you care? You just told dad there is nothing to hope on her!” “I…okay I said that in frustration…she is my cousin…and dad hopes she can be the change. But she will never be free to choose with that bastard…and imagine…if they get children! Our family will be related to him! Dad will go beserk! If he hears that now…way too late to do something…” Nathan eyed his brother with worry. “You’re right…okay…okay…so…then…May, KC…lead us…we will…safe her!” “Safe her? How do you want to do that?” “That is our worry not yours!” Nathan told in a voice that let them know he wouldn’t take a ‘no’ from them. Even when he wasn’t Brays biological son, he had taken on all the authority his father had gained over the last sixteen years. While Kilian looked like he was their fathers younger brother, Nathan was Bray through and through in his behaviour.

Together the brothers were a team that no one dared to challenge, no matter their age. “Okay…but it will be your heads!” KC grunted to them, leading them to the hidden passages.

“You want to what?” The princess stared in shocked perplexion at the priest. “It’s not my wanting that counts here Brady…it is your fathers wish that you have a worthy man on your side…think of the duty to lead on the bloodline…” “And my father choose you? A man as double as old as me? Sure NOT!” She stepped her foot hard on the floor. “I am just becoming queen…I am just eighteen…taking over reign is enough change in my life. On no account I will also become a wife already…and the more worse…a mother! Its years time for that! And you are the priest…who should take the spiritual lead?” “Master Luke will take that Brady…” “I don’t recall we both are on the matters of first names…you will call me princess like I call you Guardian!” Her voice had a certain commanding tone to it. She had been taught all her life that she held a special and unique position and that people had to respect her to all times. “But you will soon be my wife…” “I WON’T!” “SO YOU ARE DENYING THE MIGHTY ONES WISH? ARE YOU SAYING THAT OUR GOD, YOUR FATHER, TOOK THE WRONG DECISION?” The princess stepped back, looking at her teacher who stood in the back, looking sorrowful. He had no chance to warn her. And in his eyes she saw the hopelessness.

“I…” “Remember…it is me who makes you the queen…but if you act that selfishly I might come to the conclusion that you aren’t that far already…I might postpone your coronation…I might think of not granting your wish!” Horrorfied she looked at him. “NO! You promised!” For her coronation she had made him promise to let go fifty slaves. “Well… and you promised to never doubt ZOOT!” “I am not doubting him! I only…only…” “Guardian?” Master Luke spoke silently. “It is only overwhelming her…she is so young…she is pure…of course she is scared at the prospect…” “You think? But silly girl…” He stroke her cheek and she fought against her will to slap him away. “We are even on being pure…I might have more experience in matters of life…but not in the life of two humans together. We have to trust our god and keep faith.” He smiled a sick smile. “And…to make it sweeter for you…what would you say if I double up the people who will be set free?” “You will let go hundred slaves?” “Yes…” “And you swear…I will have a say in the future too? It is not like…I become your queen and you the king and take all the decisions now? I am not only the one being used as a breeding machine?” “Brady…you are ZOOT’s daughter! You are a goddess on earth. Your body is holy to me. I will hail you. Nothing will happen that you don’t want!” After a long look at master Luke she finally nodded. “Okay …” Master Luke closed his eyes seeing the triumphant expression in the crazy guys eyes, when the young princess reached him her hand.

Facing an excited crowd the princess stared into the far. She couldn’t look right into anyone faces, scared tears might escape for real. “Welcome to the day we all waited so yearningly for…the coronation of ZOOT’s daughter…finally the holy blood will reign us again! Finally Brady will take power and lead the chaos to its greatest!” A moment it was dead silent and she got aware that everyone was looking at her. “Princess?!” The gleam in the Guardians eyes let her freeze. She had never been afraid of him, for he had always been just so adoring her. But now it seemed like he was someone else. Not the high idealising priest, but a hidden monster that she soon would have to share a bed with. Her eyes met those of her maid. Tina looked worried and confused, crossing her arms in front. Moving into action at once the princess lifted her arms, crossed them above her head and chanted the well trained “Power& Chaos…” People chanted back. Was she so confused already or where most people not saying it from the heart? The words suddenly sounded empty.

Then there was suddenly smoke and paniked shrieks. “Guardian? What is going on?” “Don’t know…SWORD!” he screamed for her bodyguard. “Take the princess away…” Thinking that it was Swords hand who grabbed hers, the princess only was able to take hold of her maids hand to pull her with her. Coughing the girls followed the guy, but the princess stopped when there were suddenly three other people too. “Who are you? Where is SWORD?!” “You mean that ugly giant? Knocked out …my little brother has quiet a hard knock!”

“I KNOW YOU!” She gasped. “You’re one of…you are…Bray’s…son? Did he sent you?” Taken aback the guy stared at her. “You know how we look?” “Princess…what is…what is going on here?” Her maid pressed herself between the princess and the guy. “I hold him off princess…run!” “Don’t be foolish!” The woman that was among them hissed. “Do you want your princess to marry the crazy priest?!” “What?” The other older guy with them sighed. “Guys…can we have the saying hello ceremony once we are out of here?” “True…come…” She stood rotted to the spot when the younger guy took her hand. “I am going no where…” “FINE!” The guy hissed. “Here you are Kilian…try…she is your blood after all!” The guy named Kilian grinned a bit. “Careful dear cousin…I pissed Nate off quiet a lot today…you better be a nice girl…” “Nate?” “Nathan for you…” he snarled a bit and she stuck her nose up in the air. “Then its princess for you then!” The woman with them chuckled “She has a lot from Trudy obviously!” “You knew my mom?” The princess seemed to soften right at once. “KC and me knew her…where we are going many knew her…we all know You too Brady…we all held you when you were a baby…” The older guy weighed his head “Me not…Trudy wouldn’t trust me with her baby…what…erm…was probably wise…” “can we hurry on now or do you want to make some tea and biscuits?” Nate snarled again. “Man what has bitten you today?” KC shook his head, but said then “But lets go…Bray is going to behead May and me if we lose his precious sons!” Both young men made a “HEY!” shout, obviously pissed for being spoken about like some little boys. The princess and Tina grabbed each others hand and were then leaded through the dark tunnels all under the city till they finally came out somewhere in the woods.

“So that’s how the rebels always succeed to come in…” the princess mused loudly. “The Guardian always went in rages when you had again succeeded to ruin some resources…he was always wondering…” She shook her head. “And he never thought about looking underground?” There was anger in her voice. “Such a fool…it is really time he steps back…ts!” “Well wanna go back and say ‘yes’ to him then?” She ignored the question of Nate and ignored him all the way.

Nathan didn’t know himself why he was so snappy towards her. But he couldn’t stop flicking his eyes at the beautiful young woman. Why did she have such smooth long brown hair, such captivating eyes? She belonged to the family! He couldn’t swarm for her. But Nathan wasn’t inexperienced with girls. He knew that he felt drawn to her and it freaked him out. Out of all girls on this planet, he wanted just the one he shouldn’t want?

“Where are we here?” “Its the farm of Alice and Ellie…old Mall Rats too…Alice, her husband Scott and their son Matt live here. Cloe – also an old Mall Rat – her husband Phil and their daughter Patsy live here too. Those guys here help dad to keep the stomachs of all rebels full!” Kilian explained to her. “Okay…but why did we go here? Don’t you trust me to show me the rebel camp?” “Erm…actually…” Kilian stared a little around and Nate seemed to be looking around sheepish too. “Your father doesn’t know what you did?! He doesn’t know you probably activated a war by kidnapping the princess?” Tina sighed. Nathan rounded on her. “Oh kidnapping? Well…so the princess…" he noted the word dramatically “…actually wanted to marry the Guardian right then? Well then…goodbye you two…the city is over in that direction!” he pointed his thumb behind him, shrugging. “Actually…” princess Brady built herself up before him, poking her finger hard into his chest “…the princess wants you to be more polite. There is no reason for you to be so snappy, especially not to my maid who is my best friend! Weren’t you taught manners by your father?”

(@Tribelover15 @Midnight @Silver @Flamekeeper)

“Actually…” an icy voice copied their both’ snappy tone and they turned their heads to a group of people. The princess heart did a backflip spotting the handsome man with some people around, while Nathan and Kilian paled in unison. “…I thought I had taught all my children good manners…but seems like not. My sons are just lying to me…running off for adventures…breaking the fragile balance…” The leader of the rebellion walked towards then, his eyes flaming with hardly controlled anger. “Urm…hello dad…” “I probably couldn’t expect anything else of Kilian…but you Nathan? After you held him off today you then ran with him? What is wrong with you both? And then use such a stupid lie…going on hunt…imagine your mother when Hawk and Orion came back…it was their hunt today…your mother is going frantic in the camp! Your sister is distressed…is that your idea of being a man?”

Both guys looked to the ground, their shame was almost touchable. The princess felt weird. She was intimated by her uncle in a way, but she also envied the guys to be so deeply loved that their father was almost beside himself out of anger and worry. “They rescued me!” she piped up, unable to stand the tension. His eyes met hers. “They…they rescued me. Really. The Guardian…he…he…is insane completely…he…said ZOOT had told him…to marry me…to continue the holy bloodline with him…” She made a step towards her uncle, but stopped then looking shy at him. “Really…if they wouldn’t have acted that fast…I would be his wife now…I couldn’t turn him down…I was so scared…I never was scared of him before…but…but…this all…can’t be right…or? My father wouldn’t…force me to marry someone I don’t love…or? And Luke had just told me the truth…it is the truth or? Nothing of what I grew up with…nothing I believed…was right?” seeing him suddenly opened up all to her. That she had been misused and mislead. That probably no one around her had ever cared for real about her, besides master Luke and Tina. Tears spilled out of her beautiful eyes, when she hugged herself. “Why did you leave me there? Didn’t I mean enough to you?”

Making a careful step towards his niece, the rebellion leader finally embraced her tightly. “You mean so much to me Brady…and a part of my heart was a shattered mass for I couldn’t just go and take you back…” "You said so in your letter…” She sobbed. “But I don’t understand…” “We will speak now okay? I will explain…but first…” He let go off her and walked to his sons, who both stiffened up. Their father had never used violence on them, but still they were unsure now. “Dad…it is my fault…Nate only followed me…I told mom I would go hunting while she was tending to Quinn…she wasn’t fully aware and didn’t look too closely…but Nate did. I made him come with me to rescue Brady…please…if you want to punish us…I take it for the both of us!” Both huffed surprised when he hugged them tight and strong. “Thank you…but if you speak to your mother…you tell her I gave you both the telling off of your lives or it is all three of us being in trouble with her! Deal?” Both grinned, their father hated to fight with their mother and over the years there had never been real stress between their parents. But they knew their mother would probably be really expecting her husband to stamp his foot down on their son’s this time. She was the stricter part after all.

“And now you better speak with your love or you get into big trouble…” the father whispered to his younger son. Kilian turned to the people who had been with his father and walked slowly up to a guy in his age. He had long wild dread locks, all decorated with feathers in the end, grey eyes and was just as trained as Kilian and Nathan were. He looked quiet coolly. “Orion…I …” “Do you have any idea how it freaked me out when your mother asked me where you both are? How could you do this? You swore to me at lunch that you wouldn’t just run off…and now? I was about just storming to the city…luckily your father came to the idea that whatever the plan was, you both would go here first after returning! What got into you?! Why didn’t you trust me?!” Brady watched in amazement, that sounded more then only friendship. “Ori…” Kilians voice was soft and sweet when he took a hand of other in one of his and touched his cheek with his free hand. “…your leg has just healed after it was broken…going on a hunt with your dad…I can accept that…but take you into the city where we would maybe be forced to run away? No. I wouldn’t risk you for anything, just like I know you wouldn’t risk me…but I had to go…I…it was like something was pulling me…and now…i believe it had a reason. Nathan and me were there to save Brady!” Orion stared intently into Kilian’s eyes and sighed finally, laying his hands over the others cheeks. “You’re so lucky I love you so much…I just can’t be angry for real with you!”

Brady gaped when Kilian leant in and kissed Orion long and slow. Nathan leant to her ear. “Close your mouth your majesty…you look pretty stupid!” Glaring angry at him she closed her lips tightly. But finally she couldn’t stop herself from asking her uncle “Are you okay…with THAT?” “What ‘that’? My son being in love? I fell for Amber in that age too…” “But…but…it’s a guy?! The Guardian told me it is unnatural…” “You’re not believing any more any shit that crazy priest told you?” Nathan rolled his eyes. “NATE!” Bray shook his head at his older son. “Brady…you grew up with idiotic ideas. Love is love. Why should it matter? Kilian and Orion were best friends from their toddler days on. Their friendship grew into love. Half a year back they got aware of that it is love between them. No one with us has a problem with it. On the contrary…they are considered quiet as a dream couple…” “Really? Two guys?” Nathan was taken by her wondering look, with her eyes even bigger, her cheeks softly blushed she looked even more beautiful to him. “Look at them…ignore that it are two men…try to see the emotions…what do you see?” He whispered on her ear again. A moment she closed her eyes, a soft prickle running over her skin. That guy had some sort of melody in his voice that thrilled her senses like nothing else had ever done. Fast she opened her eyes again. “I see…trust…happiness…even footing…” “You see love Brady…” he whispered again. “Pure love…I knew always they are the perfect match…” “You always knew your brother would be with a guy?” “Hmmm…

The princess was thankful when her uncle just pulled her away from the excited people, up to some quieter space on some beautiful meadow. “You see…none of us forgot about you!” “I…but why then Bray? Why was I to stay with the Chosen? Why was I to grow up hating and doubting you and my family?” Sighing the rebellion leader looked at the young woman, his mind travelling to the baby she once had been. Years had passed, years both of them had lived with their own truth. And now he had to destroy hers. But nonetheless – the much it pained him to relay the lies she had lived with believing them to be the only truth- he retold her his life up to the moment that he had to take the hardest decision ever. “…you see…I…had no other way…I had to leave you or the Guardian would have just blown up the mall, killing off all rebels, all Chosen within…you…my unborn baby…” He took her hand. “If it would have been only my life to pay…I would have done so to free you…” “I…so you say…there is…still a bomb in the mall? That he kept it intact all those years threatening to reactivate it if you would truly come to get me? That is why I spent all my live in the mall?” She jumped to her feet. “That BASTARD! And there he was telling em all the time he kept me inside for he was so worried about my safety…how the rebels would go and kill me if given the chance…how my uncle would HATE me…” tears gathered in her eyes when she turned back to him, after rushing a pace away. “…and so…I hated you all those years…was scared of you…while you…” “Never hated you…yes.”

Her uncle got up, walked up to her and hugged her tightly. “I so much hoped it would turn to the better once you would be crowned…” “How could you hope that? Not knowing me? For all you knew I could be just as crazy…” “Because Luke told me of you…I’ve met him regularly…but he couldn’t tell you…we had to keep you save…I would have never thought the Guardian…would have such an idea…” “Hmm…oh…Bray! What if he loses it now and blows the mall up? Or the whole town?” “That’s possible!” “I’ve got to go back…I’ve got to find a way and get him off his position!” “But…the soon you’re back…he will go and finish his plan…” “Well…given that he forces me…and that it are his crazy laws…I won’t consider this marriage a real one…I will just call it illegal once he is out of the way…” “But…you know what he will expect of you?! I can’t let that happen…I can’t let you give your pureness to such a…such a…” “Bray…you’re my uncle. But…this is my decision. I am an adult now.” She turned and walked back to the farm. When her uncle followed he walked just right into a thrilling party.

The old Mall Rats had hurriedly alarmed everyone and so his niece was getting her first ever real birthday party.

It was a party like she had never imagined one. Her old tribe was there completely and she met Ellie, Jack and their boy and girl. She meet KC and May again. And got to know Alice husband Scoot and their son Matt. She met Pride and his wife Marianna and their twins. She got to know Tai-San and Lex, along their daughter Mai-Lan. She met Hawks wife Gaia. Salene and Ryan also met her with their son and after a while her head was spinning with names and faces. She met Amber and her cousin Faith and the little baby cousin Quinn which she didn’t want to let out her arms at once. She was overwhelmed by the happiness people seemed to have for her being there with them. The princess wished the evening would never end. The laughter with her family should never end.

That night the princess dreamt as lively as never before.

Dream

“Where am I?” she wandered along a glittering meadow. Glittering because the grass was silver, the flowers seemed to be of jewels. Not getting tired of all the sparkling beauty she walked on till she suddenly felt her feet kind of swinging. Looking down she realised to stand on some fluffy white cloud. Panic let her heart flutter. “Don’t panic my sweetheart…” a soft voice told her. Looking forward she saw a woman dressed in pure white walking towards her. “Mom” “Hello sweetheart…” her hug was so warm, she felt so real. And still she knew it couldn’t be. Couldn’t be for her mother was dead. A new wave of panic flooded her. “Am I dead mommy?””No sweetheart…I am here to help you…you need a plan!” “I…you know?” “I watch you…of course I know! Listen Brady…you’ve got the answer deep inside of you.” “I…what do you mean with that?” “Who are you Brady…who does he want you to be?” “I…should be a warrior queen…a warrior like my father was…” “Yes…and do you believe a warrior queen would just an simply marry a mere priest?” “You mean…I…I…” her face light up “I should marry a warrior! Someone who is worth to be with ZOOT’s daughter! The guardian has to proof that!” “God my sweetheart…you’re on the way…” Like a gently breeze her mother slips touched her forehead. “MOM! Don’t go…please…” “I can’t stay longer…you only needed the right lead…take care…”

end

Confused Brady looked around after waking up in the morning, but then she jumped out of her bed, toring off to find her uncle and tell him her idea.

“You all understand the plan? Brady will make him agree into a tournament…as many of us as possible will be in it…one of us has to win!” “But Bray…do you really think she is able to convince him?” “He has a huge ego…” the princess told them with an eye role. “Don’t worry…he will agree…” “That means training, training and again training guys…”

The princess watched like every guy of the rebels working himself through a training “I guess your safest bet will be Bray himself, Kilian and Nathan…Orion isn’t at his fittest state sadly…” “Hmmm…the Guardian is quiet some fighter Amber…” “We know that Brady…remember we have fought him several times already…but trust my three men! Those three won’t give up…” “Hmmm…how come you took Nathan up with you?” “Well…what else should we have done in the first place? Let him all by himself?” “No but you were so young…you just had a baby after the terrible end of the rebellion…” “Bray and me fell in love with Nate on first look…he was so cute…so innocent. It wasn’t easy but we don’t want to miss him. None of us.” Her eyes lingered on her eldest son and the princess locked over to him too. He moved elegantly through certain sword moves and her fingers itched. Before anyone could stop her, she had taken hold of another training sword right in front of him. “What now?” “I can show you how the Guardian fights!” “I am not fighting against you!” “Because I am a woman?” “No your high majesty… I often train with women…but you are just the spoiled little princess…” “Take that back! I am trained!” “You trained all your life with people who kiss your pretty ass…no one ever went and really fought you!” “How would you know my ass is pretty, big warrior? You think quiet a lot of yourself don’t you? Afraid I give you a lesson?” In a trained movement the princess let go of the long hooded cape that was around her shoulders. Nathan gaped when she with another move was able to toss the skirt off her dress, showing that it was indeed only a wide skirt over a tight leather trouser.

“What? Thought really I am all girly princess? I am ZOOT’s daughter…fight!” With awe people watched how the young woman whirled around with the sword attacking then Brays eldest son with fast moves. Taken by surprise the young man first only defended himself. “DAD! Tell her to stop?!” Bray crossed his arms “Why? Show her why you and Kilian are our best fighters!” On instinct alone Nathan moved his sword straight high when the princess’ sword nearly went down on his head. And all at once they were whirling around each other, metal on metal, the swords singing a song of power when they met each other again and again. “Show her Nate!” Kilian called to his brother, but awed at his cousin too.

Faith hopped excited. “BRADY! Show him! Hah see! Girls can do that stuff too!”

Nathan succeeded finally to catch her against a wall. “Give up?!” “In your dreams!” she laughed in his face, stamping her foot down hard on his to bring him out of balance. She pushed him back,
launching herself down on him. “Give up?!” she now asked. “In your dreams!” He hissed, pushing her high over his body. In a perfect roll she turned herself, landing well on her feet. At once she turned, her sword whirling right at him when he went to attack her again. But then Nathan stopped in the movement. “You’re hurt!” he threw his sword away and grabbed her hand. Confused the young woman looked at it “Must have scratched myself on a stone…that’s nothing…” “It can turn nasty here…a lot of herbs here a poison…come…”

The leader of the rebellion wrapped his arm around his wife’s shoulders. “My brother would be dead proud of her…” “You’re too!” “Of course! Have you ever seen that Nathan had to fight like this? Besides when fighting with Kilian?” “No…she is really a warrior…and good she is!” “Hmmm…” “Bray? You know why they were that way or? Why they went that hard about each other?” “Its pretty obvious…they have fallen for each other…” “And that would be okay to you?” “Amber…we raised that young man! If I wouldn’t trust my own son to be good for my niece…what would that mean about my father qualities?” He raised a brow at her. “But it’s something they have to figure out themselves…” “Hopefully he is a bit of faster then you have been…” she teased him and pulled him into a soft kiss.

“You’re good in leading the sword…” he told her silently. He gently cleaned the little scratch and wrapped it then into a thin material that Tai-San and Gaia produced from certain leafs. “Thanks…you too.,…at last I have hope now that one of you guys succeeds…” “You could fight him yourself…fight for your own hand…fight for the right to marry only who and when you want!” “I thought you’ve got the hang of him…he will never let that happen…” “Sorry…I only wish…you come out safely…what if none of us wins?” “I have faith!” “Now you sound like my dad…” Rolling his eyes he sat closer up to her. “Runs in the family…” she told him with an amused smile. “Hmmm…”

A while they sat in silence. “Aren’t you afraid? Afraid that nothing works and you will end up…in a wedding dress with him?” “No…if it comes that far for real…I…I just…” “WHAT?” He asked sharply. “Nothing…” she looked away from him, but Nate wouldn’t have it and took hold of her face. “Brady? What is your plan b?” “Well…it is actually no plan b…if you all can’t win my hand…well…I am not being his puppet…I am not going to be the mother for his brats…if it is my only chance to be free…I will end my life…you all will be free then still. It all resolves around me. When I am gone…the Chosen will be a piece of cake for you!” “ARE YOU INSANE?!” He growled, shacking her hard on her shoulders. “You won’t do this! Do you have an idea what this would do with all of us here?” “You don’t know me too well…you will come over!” “No we won’t!” Pressing his forehead to hers he stared in her eyes. “How you just said…you are ZOOT’s daughter…you won’t be beaten by such a crazy fruitcake!” Lost in his eyes she was unable to answer. “Swear it Brady! If we don’t succeed at once…we will free you somehow else…but you aren’t killing yourself…” “I don’t want to…to…you know what he will expect of me when I marry him?!” “Lie to him…tell him you are ill…throw a tantrum…we all know you can!” “I don’t even want to KISS him…my first kiss…being forced by that lying fool…” “Bite him if he tries?!”

That suggestion made her giggle. “Bite him?” “Yeah…but then again…maybe he likes that even!” “Nate…hihi…” Giggling she sat, her forehead still on his. He was really some handsome man. More looking like that fairy-tale princes she had dreamt about, when she had been younger. But not as soft. More like a bit darker version. More dangerous. “I would feel better when it wouldn’t be my first kiss…” she whispered. “I understand that…it is something important…” “So…you kissed already?” “Erm…yes…” Somehow she at once was envious. Who of the girls here had kissed him? “So…you are promised?” “Promised? Ah no…we don’t approve of such conservative things here…it was just a crush…nothing special in the end…” “Oh…then…no girl would be mad if…if you…would kiss me?” The princess didn’t know where that idea came from. But there had been a pull towards him since meeting him first time. “Ki-kiss you? I…I can’t…” “Why not?” “You’re my cousin!” “We aren’t related by blood!” “Bray is my dad. To me it doesn’t matter that it isn’t biological. I won’t go messing around with Faith either way…and she isn’t blood related to me too!” “But Faith is your SISTER. You grew up like siblings…that is different then me and you…” “Not to me!” “So…you don’t like me that way? That tension between us…I misunderstood?” She stared down on his chest, unable to look in his eyes. Unable to understand what had gotten into her. “Well…okay…sorry…I better get ready…Luke will be here soon…”

“BRADY!” Nathan tried to stop her, but she only smiled a brave smile. “You better win…you or one of the others…and then you owe me a new fight…okay?” Nathan watched her walk away, looking then to the river. How could the princess switch so fast between different emotions, when he wasn’t able to even live one out?

“Princess!” “Guardian…hello…” “How…who…?” “Oh…I just had some nice two days…” “Nice two…what?” Coolly she stared at him. “Did you really think someone could kidnap me so easily without me WANTING? That I would go without a fight?” “I…” “Please…I thought you were intelligent? And now listen…of course I knew of your plan…” “You…you did…know that I…” “Want to marry me? Sure. ZOOT talks to me since a while Guardian…after all…I am of his blood. And sadly…you failed.” “I what? Princess take care what you say…” “No! You take care Guardian!” She spoke loud and clear, servants around, members o

f the lower circles clearly hearing her. “My father wanted to test how worthy you are of me…but instead of speaking, discussing with me…you threatened me…do you honestly believe that any father in this world wants his daughter with a man who uses such tactics on her? My father had warned me beforehand…to be prepared. And like you saw…I was.” She walked along him, her long robe sparkling, her eyes speaking of authority. “But I will forgive you…after all…you raised me…you took care I had everything I needed. But now there must be a another way to find a man who can live up to the vacant spot of my father. I won’t take any one less then him…and therefore…there will be a tournament…” She spoke even louder. “A tournament were every guy in this land can take place…the winner…wins my hand…” “But…every guy…?” “I have to make sure to get the best one Guardian…and of course you can take part too…” She smiled sweetly, twisting a strand of her hair in her fingers. She held his stare. Her uncle had advised her to stare unblinking and no matter how much she wanted to close her eyes, she kept them open.

Finally the Guardian bowed his head and kissed her hand. “As you wish my lady…I see…you are truly your fathers daughter…” Gracefully she nodded at him, holding his gaze still.

The air brimmed in anticipation. Voices buzzed along the place. Occasionally laughter flowed around. But the tension had grown all out of the day. Now after the heat of the midday sun was gone, the final round of the tournament would take place. There had been so many guys taking part that it was now already the second day of the event. Finally there were only four guys left. One of them the Guardian who had made people awing. No one had any true idea how much of a accomplished fighter the priest was.

The god’s daughter watched from her throne. The four contestants stood before her. “Princess? May I speak?” She nodded her head to the priest. “I think now…those three guys here should have the courtesy to lift the masks…” “Everyone wore masks…I ordered it to be not tempted by a face alone…I only allowed you to be without one for you are so…unique…” she rolled her eyes. “Everyone would have realised you any way…” “Thank you my lady…but still…I think it is the question of honour…” “Well…you heard my priest…” The three guys lifted their masks and the guardian started forward. “YOU?!” His finger pointed in the rebellion leader. “YOU’RE HER UNCLE! That is incest…her cousins…how shameful…my princess…” The princess leant back, her face a mask of surprise. “Well…that is indeed a surprise…I would have never thought to see you here…UNCLE BRAY…” The leader gave her a small wink what wasn’t noticed by the Guardian who beside himself called for the guards. “GUARDS!” The princess voice thundered up. “You listen to me…the Guardian is an contestant right now…not your leader. And I say…let them fight!” “But my princess…the…the…family blood…” “I am not fighting to marry my niece…neither is her cousin…Kilian and her a related…but Nathan isn’t. And after all…we all aren’t fighting for her hand in marriage…we fight that she can free to chose the way she wants to live…” “That…what…?” “Oh well…Guardian…that doesn’t sound after a too bad deal to me…either way I win or?” The priest stared at the princess. The little girl he had let been raised so carefully, whom he had tried to make more cruel and not listen to her own heart. Now her eyes were cold and arrogant. She had succeeded`? Was she her father now? He knew she had no mercy with him after all when she shouted again “FIGHT!”

Staring around the Guardian knew he couldn’t withdraw now. He pulled a stone from a bag. It was painted red. Bray and Nathan both pulled a blue. Bray looked at his younger son. “Nor changing the battle partner Bray…” the guardian grinned evilly. “But don’t worry…I am not killing your precious little boy…” “Better take care my precious little boy doesn’t kill you!”

The princess watched with batted breath how her younger cousin fought against the priest. Kilian was fast, but the Guardian fought with utmost hardness. People booed when he threw sand up in the air, right into Kilian’s eyes. Kilian had just succeeded to fight him down into his knees, but now he stumbled backwards, unable to react for he couldn’t see a thing. The guardian swung his sword right at his legs and in the last moment the young man was at last able to jump up and about. But then the priest jumped forward and pushed him down hard against the banister. Kilian groaned with pain and a sickening noise told them that a rip in the young body had given in.

“LIAN!” Nathan was the fastest at his brother. “You bastard…you’ll pay for that…” “It will be a pleasure for me to fight with you…but you first have to fight your father…or?” Bray helped his son up to the feet and looked together with him to Nathan. There was such a tender worry in his eyes, everyone understood that the leader didn’t want to risk his other son now too. He looked around searching the eyes of his wife. She nodded at him and he looked back to Nathan. “I trust you…with more then my life…” “I won’t disappoint you dad!” Bray nodded with a sigh “Princess? I pull back…I guess my son is the fresher fighter…after all…I am not twenty any more…or Jaffa?” “Princess…that is…unfair…” “Unfair?” “Yes the boy is more relaxed now…I had a fight more then him!” “Oh so you say you are too weak? Too weak to fight for the place you want?” “I am not weak!” he flared at her. “I am the mighty ones most trusted…I am his Chosen one…” “Then proof that to me!” She shouted loudly. “Fight and smash him down…make the air burn with power…”

“She does that really good…” Kilian huffed silently to his father when he leaded him away. “Yes…she has absolutely some treats of her mother…” Tai-San and Gaia hurried to care for Kilian, while Orion held his hand looking a little worried. “You fought great…” Orion kissed him softly and then they all looked back to the fighting area when Brady gave the shout. “The last fight…the winner gets everything…the loser gets all the blame…fight…fight for me…fight for our god…fight for POWER& CHAOS!” Her shout was taken up and for once she enjoyed it a little. It had always scared her a bit when people had shouted the motto loudly at her.

Inside the fighting area the two men circled around each other, each holding a sword. Nathan’s eyes met hers, gleaming with so many emotions. Loyalty? Care? Worry? And there was something warm. Something that made her want to run right up in his arms. She had never missed anyone as much as him in the week since she had returned and prepared the tournament. She hadn’t known you could miss someone that badly, someone you even didn’t know for real. But Nathan had made clear that there couldn’t be anything else then being cousins for him. But his eyes now spoke a different language.

A while the both men only circled around each other, taking up each others movements. “Thinking about what next lousy trick you can use you sad creature?” The young man spoke loudly. “Trick? It is called skills my little wanna be knight…” The Guardian bowed mockingly. Nathan gritted his teeth. That man tried to provoke him. He caught his father staring intently at him. There was always that admirable calmness in his father in such situations. To have faith in yourself, but to be not arrogant did the trick. “Without that sand trick you would have stood no chance against my brother…know why?” “I am curious?!” “Because…after all…ZOOT’s blood runs in his veins too! You’re just an imposter! Bathing yourself in the gods glory! What did you ever do yourself for real?! And now you go and want to take the princess in your bed to stable your own position. Because when she becomes the holy queen…what would be left for the sad little priest?!”

A loop sided grin was on the handsome face, when the Guardian ran up to him - sword held out - with a scream. “You arrogant little bastard!” Nathan only circled himself around, the sword missing him by far, his boot kicking the Guardian in the back that hard, that he flew against the banister. “There you go…sometimes even the blind one…and all of that…” Nathan laughed “Because you got that right…I am a bastard. Because you and your Chosen cared for my parents not being able to be there for me…” It was a little stretch for no one knew exactly what happened to his parents, but Nathan had always hated the Chosen with that thought. “And so our fight is well fitting…bastard against bastard!” Nathan shouted at him whirling then up to him. The Guardian stared at the guy who kind of danced around him. The sword dancing from one hand into the other, smashing without mercy at him. He could only react and not attack himself. That young man was faster even then Kilian who he had really only been able to stop beating him, by throwing sand. But his older brother would be prepared on that now.

Finally the Guardian pulled out his last safety measure from a pocket. It was a little dagger, with that he managed to catch Nathan’s sword between his own sword and the knife.

“That is unfair princess!” Some people shouted, the young man already having won their hearts. The Guardian might be their priest, but he was cold and hard and no one loved him. While they loved the princess who was temperamental and could be arrogant, but also laughed aloud, danced with children and was just so hungry of life. And she had mercy. “I don’t remember you told us it is a rule to only have one weapon…” The priest grinned evil. Her eyes met Nathan’s again. “I am sorry…but he is right…I forgot…sorry…” Now she forget her acting, she was too worried for Nate. “It is okay…a little dagger won’t help him…” Nate pushed hard, the Guardian stumbling back.

“What was that for a look between you both? Brady…do you know him? Wait…this was all a plan?! Bray made you do this!” “I don’t know what you’re talking about…” “Why are you sorry for him then?” “Well…” taking a breath she searched strength inside. Then she smiled a woman’s smile. Sighing a little dramatically she answered “Well…look at him…and look at you! Can one judge me for I want the younger and more handsome to win? I am a girl after all…” She fanned herself in such a snobbish way that the Guardian stared at her confused for a moment. %Trying to work out what was real.

Nathan used it and attacked again hard and fast, the dagger flew from the Guardians hand who shouted angry. “BRADY!” Bray started forward, the dagger flew so straight at the young woman. But the princess took it easily right out of the air. “GUARDIAN! Take care better…or do I have to see that as an attack on my life, well hidden in a fight?” “What? No…no…I…” Her eyes flamed and first time ever he saw her father in her. ZOOT had never been impressed by him, and so wasn’t his daughter.

It pumped up his anger and with new fury he fought back against the younger man. Sword hit sword, the metal sounds filling the whole area. Perfect move hit on perfect move. Feet circled around safely and soon it was a whirlwind in the fighting place. People squinted their eyes to even see something. When both stopped, gasping for air, the Guardian moved a hand over his face, blood on his fingers. “Touche …” Nathan had blood on his underarm and bowed his hand in a knowledge “The same…” “You know…I just have to think…it is right…you AREN’T related to the princess…you are young and strong…and hell of a fighter. But you were dammed to a live in the hidden till now. Wouldn’t you like to join us?” “Guardian…what…?” “Princess… wouldn’t you like a young handsome guy? I guess the chances on healthy children will be even higher with him.” The Guardian bowed respectful to her. “I understood this lesson…to have you is not on me. I was, am and still are the priest of the Chosen. My way is to give spiritual leadership…not worldly leadership…”

The princess eyes met Nathan’s. A moment both saw each other, dressed up for a wedding, about to be the new queen and king. Crowned and married by the Guardian. And thought both hearts did a flip at the prospect to be together, the idea wasn’t settling for them. Their eyes locked in each other they shock their heads to the same time. “There…there is that look again…what DOES IT MEAN?!” “It means that the princess and me are of one mind…there will be never freedom or peace for her or anyone else the long you have a say!” Nathan spoke clear and loud, rounding his sword again to the other. “Fight…fight me r pack your things and run.” “You dare…to…to…princess?!” “LISTEN to him…fight…how long am I supposed to wait here? You’re such a disappointment right now…don’t know what my father ever saw in you!” The Chosen followers in the crowd looked confused. But when the Guardian screamed for help of them, no one rushed to the aid, for master Luke held them back. “Dear Chosen…this is the time to wait. Our fate is changing…for the better I hope…” “LUKE!? YOU?!”

The master stared around at the priest. His eyes calm, but cold. “You don’t know how often I dreamt of that moment the last sixteen years…end it Nathan!” “This is betrayal…this is…” “wan t to cry a little longer or fight?” Again Nathan attacked him and again they danced and whirled around each other, but while Nate was still full of energy the Guardians movements got slower. Finally his sword was pished aside, Nathan kicked him down, his feet then on the priests neck. “You choose now…and choose wise…” the young man stared coolly down at the beaten man. “Mercy or death?” “Mercy is only for those to weak to live…” The priest spluttered, his eyes half closed. “There you go…stupid on top. Wrong choice!” Nathan whispered and went then a pace away. In his eyes the fight was over. “Princess?” Her eyes wide she nodded, a smile growing on her lips. Nathan was a hard fighter, but he had the sense of mercy and forgiveness in him. This was what the future needed, not another war forger. “Nathan…the Guardian can’t fight any more…you do not wish to kill him?” “Killing always comes with a price. A soul that kills, rips itself apart. I rather want mine to stay unharmed, especially because of someone like him!” The young man bowed deeply to her, but his eyes looked even more intense up in hers. Swallowing the princess nodded. “I approve of that sight…the fight is done. Nathan is the clear winner. This is my word! Medics…you care for the loser…”

But before the medics had reached the priest, he had jumped off again, taking his sword, running it straight up to Nathan’s back. There was a scream from all the rebels in the crowd and also from many Chosen. Nathan turned a little slow, after all the fight had cost energy and his mind had just started to relax from being alert so long. But before he could even lift his sword, the princess had rushed along him, her skirt again flying away from her, her hands now holding his sword stable. “How dare you?” She snarled. “You are sworn to that my word is the law…I am eighteen…” “You…you didn’t even want me to win…this was a plan wasn’t it? You…you schemed with the rebels…” “Right you are…I schemed with my FAMILY! You took me apart from them and raised me into the queen you wanted…but you failed. I am who I want to be. I make my own rules, like my father made his!” “You little whore…so you’re going to open your legs for a little nobody of a man…just like your mother! She tried to charm your uncle…she longed to have him…and later she even threw herself on me…” “My mother only slept with ZOOT or? So you just called my father a little nobody of a man?” Anger spread from her eyes, pure hate making them icy beside the fire in them. Shocked the Guardian looked at her and then at the other Chosen around. “Did you hear that Chosen? Did you hear how he compared ZOOT?” “I…I didn’t…I wasn’t…” “STOP RIGHT NOW! Your time is over…go in peace and never return…or…”

“Or what?!” People screamed when he grabbed Brady’s arm, her sword falling now from her hand, because blood wasn’t flooding correct any more. “Let off her!” Nathan made a step forward, but the Guardian using again his sneaky skills, kicked up a stone from the floor that hit Nathan. In advantage the priest slashed his sword down on the young man’s shoulder who sunk down, his head hitting the ground. “NATHAN!” Full with new fury the princess wriggled in the hold of the hard hand of the priest. “Let me…NATHAN?!” “He can’t help you now…no one can! Done little warrior queen…you see my dear Chosen…the winner of a battle isn’t the one who shines and shows mercy. The true winner is the one who fights till the end. And now…guards…take the rebels…and you princess…you and me…have some other things to do…” He grabbed her chin. “I wasn’t looking forward to it…but now I think it will be not that bad to give up priesthood…with such a wild lady…” “Let me…” She was startled when his lips pressed on hers, but then he sunk away from her. His eyes fastening on the little dagger in his chest. “You…?” “I forgot I had it in my hand…” she whispered, but turned then at once.

She rushed to Nathan’s side. Rebels came running up, while she stroke his face. “Nate? Nathan? Please…please open your eyes!” The people stopped in surprise when the princess pressed her mouth on the young man’s. “Please Nate…please…don’t go…we need you. I need you…please…” She pressed her lips again on his and this time the people saw his hand slowly lifting from the ground to lay down in her neck and pull her in into a deeper kiss.

Relieve flooding the rebellion leader, he went up to the beaten priest. “This is what you dreamt of so long or Bray…?” blood trickled from the man’s lips. Bray shook his head. “I wished it could have ended years before in peace and understanding. You could have had a real life. I know you never were free yourself. But this here now…we call it karma…good bye Jaffa…” Bray stood silently and watched. In his eyes no one should die alone. Even not the most worst person deserved it. But the leader was the only one who stood guard.

Others where around the princess and Nathan what was clearly the more happier sight. The princess wriggled from the guy “You…you fooled me!? You did not react first time on purpose so I kiss you again?” “Had to take my chance!” Nathan grinned loop sided, while sitting up. “Oh…oh…how dare you?” People flinched when she slapped him. “I was…I thought you…and you…you play with me…and…and…it was you who told me you would never…go and kiss me and…” “Do something NATE!” Kilian kicked the brother into the back. “Do something right idiot!” “Lian is right Nate…she is working herself into a rage…” His adoptive mother smiled knowingly. Her old friend Trudy had thrown some memorable tantrums.

Nathan jumped to his feet, taking hold of the young woman. “I am the world biggest idiot. Okay? It was stupid to say we can’t be together…I wanted to come and tell you all week but I couldn’t risk you or our plan.” She still shot daggers from her eyes when he grabbed her cheeks with his warm hands. “I…want to be with you. Don’t know how it happened…I don’t understand it for you are so different from every woman I ever met. But…I want to trust my heart. I want you to be the queen of my heart…because…” he leant closer in “…I love you!” The princess sighed when his lips met hers again and wrapping her arms around his neck she pulled him in closer. People cheered the couple.

Meanwhile the rebellion leader closed the empty eyes of his enemy. Saying a silent farewell prayer nonetheless. Then he moved back to the celebrating mass. A smile formed on his face, seeing his adoptive son and his niece wrapped up in each other. His wife snuggled up to him. Their younger daughter finally reaching them, her baby brother on her arms. The leader wrapped all up to him. His other son stood with his own spouse hand in hand beside them. “Now all is over dad?” “Oh no Kilian…now the real work only starts…” the leader told him with a silent laugh…

What he had meant with that showed up in the next days, weeks, years even. It was a long way to go from a cruel dictatorship to a town with a council made up from the tribe leaders. But the rebellion leader was now in his field even. Together with his niece he united the former Chosen, the former suppressed people and the rebels. Over the years he leaded the council as voted leader. The little town flourished. There was enough food, there was education for the children. People worked together instead of each other. Those who never were true Chosen helped those who had lost their ground in a way after the down fall of the Guardian. The former princess often spoke to the people about how wrong this whole religion had been. How all the Guardian had told them had been just lies.

Two years after the final day the town celebrated the marriage of Brady and Nathan in a big celebration. This was the only day the young woman really wore a crown. Made from flowers that the ECO children had collected for her. Her uncle led her to the wedding place and the ceremony was done from master Luke, who know was still the master. The master of the school, teaching young children and older ones about the real world, like he had taught Brady for years. Salene helped a long.

Life wasn’t always peaceful and it wasn’t always easy. But people had learnt now that speaking with each other was the essential part in becoming a working society.

Twelve years after the end of the Chosen, the rebellion leader decided to retreat from his position. In his eyes the younger generation was asked now to take responsibility. His niece won the vote to be the new city leader, while her husband leaded the security unit of the city. Her uncle promised to be an adviser but his place was the camp in the woods. This was where his family belonged and he was glad to not have to travel between wood and city almost every day now any more. Her cousin Kilian and his spouse Orion led a unit of hunters who provided the whole area with meat and fishes.

Yes twelve years later, everyone had found his or her place in the world.

Looking out into the blue the former princess looked at the river. Her husband and her had come for a little visit to the camp like almost every week. It was the time they relaxed the most, away from responsibility , enjoying to be wrapped up by family and love. A smile was one her lips while she dreamt of the future. So long they had hoped and waited. So long that finally they had started to push the thought far away. Being happy with each other and trying not to ask for even more happiness.

“Here you are…” He kissed her cheek softly. “You were busy playing with Quinn…didn’t want to interrupt…” “Hmm…he is strong! Either that or I get old…” He rubbed his shoulder, what made her giggle. “Old? With thirty?” “Yeah” “You know Bray was thirty four when Quinn was born…?!” “Yes…but…what has that got to do with me?” “Well…I hope that four years younger…mean you can at last do as good as he did…” she took his hand and laid it over her stomach. His eyes travelled to their hands, then into her eyes that suddenly sparkled wet. “NO?!” “Yes…we are finally blessed…” tears ran over her face. Gently he kissed them away. “But…that is no reason to cry…my heart…my queen…I love you…” “And I love you…” she whispered before he kissed her with that all consuming warm passion that was her blanket since now twelve years.

A soft breeze flew around them, leafs dancing along. A flower touched the former princess face who felt like a hand was struggling her cheek. And she knew up there somewhere her mother was smiling down at them. Maybe her father too. It was a moment of pure bliss and happiness. A moment that told both you could find true home within each other. That you could achieve maybe not everything in life, but that you could find peace and worthwhile life the long you followed your heart and kept the dream alive. Through light and darkness. Through sunlight and rain. In the end you just had to keep on dreaming…

And now you expect me to end with ‘and they lived happily ever after’, because that is how a good fairytale should end?! But no I won’t end like this. Because no life can be always happy. Without the sad moments, we don’t appreciate the happy ones. Without darkness there can’t be light. And so I end with:

And they kept on dreaming for the rest of their lives!!!

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:clap: :clap: :clap:

This was magnificent! You have really surpassed yourself with this one @Zwenja! It has all the magic of a fairytale but with a modern twist, subverting the old stereotypes. And it still managed to have that Tribal feel too. I loved your characterisation of Brady, how you took the intensity of Zoot and turned it into something positive, and the dream sequence with Trudy was beautiful.

Thank you so much for writing this for all of us. I’m only sorry it took me so long to read it.

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Ohhhh… Thank you @MallRatMatt. It was something that just came to me… I love fairy tales and it was fun to write one that way.

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