In the land that knows no pardon.

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A Day in the Life

Imperial Palace, Venezuela

The night before bookshelves had been added to the Shogun's quarters. She had her parents books and diaries delivered, now that she could see again.

Absently she lifted one of her mothers diaries from the shelf and turned to the page dated with the day of her birth.

Name: Shirzad Date: November 3, 1980

My daughter was born today. Seven pounds, two ounces. I am very tired.

We named her Ivana.

As I held her for the first time I felt nothing. I do not love her. I cannot describe the horror of this sensation.

The entry ended there. Ivana closed the book and placed it back on the shelf. She knew already.

A block of nutrient cubes set on the glass table in the center of her room. She ate exactly five, her usual breakfast. Brushed her teeth. Showered.

It was Friday and there was an intelligence briefing. She put on her armor, a daily routine. Boots. Utility belt. Breastplate. Knives and a red cloak.

There was a pad of yellow note paper on her dresser. She tucked it under her arm. After the hacking attack she didn't keep electronic notes anymore.

The sunrise glowed through the bay window, casting the room into golds and reds as Ivana walked toward the door.

She doubled over as if struck, the notebook tumbling from her fingers. She groaned involuntary; the sound animalistic, low and thick. Knees half buckled she lost her balance and her shoulder fell into the wall. Breath heaving and ragged she leaned against the cold granite, pressing clenched fists to her face.

Time passed. Her breath stabilized. Her body uncoiled and her shoulders straightened. Armor scraped against stone as she set, leaning her back against the wall.

She dialed Arrachtach. It went to voicemail: 'Greetings and salutations. I am presently unavailable however should you inform me of your identity and the nature of your business I shall endeavor to contact you with all appropriate haste.'


Ivana smiled. She hung up and called back. Over and over, until the sun had fully risen above the horizon.

Then she collected her notebook and went.